NEW YORK -- Clay Buchholz threw off a mound on Wednesday afternoon, perhaps for the final time this season. And the good news is that all systems should be go for the right-hander to have a typical offseason and be ready for the start of Spring Training.
"I've talked to our doctors, and that's what they've told me. It should be a normal run, and I'll start throwing in November," said Buchholz. "I'll go to Spring Training a couple weeks early to throw a bullpen [session] down there with our guys rather than throw them anywhere else."
Buchholz last pitched for the Red Sox on July 10, the night he strained his right flexor against the Yankees.
It was a slower recovery than he initially anticipated, particularly once Dr. James Andrews warned Buchholz how delicate the injury was and how much risk there was he could make it worse.
The time Buchholz took off turned out to be exactly what he needed.
"Even when I started playing catch, I felt the difference from the last game I was in," Buchholz said. "Going forward, I followed the protocol laid out and that was that everything was going to be fine. It's always good going into the offseason knowing you're not nursing anything and sort of treat it like a regular offseason rather than having to start rehab at a certain point."
The Red Sox hold a $13 million option on Buchholz for next season, and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski reiterated to the righty what he told the media a month ago -- exercising it is a no-brainer as long as there are no physical issues.
"I completely understand where they're coming from on the business side of it," Buchholz said. "Whenever I'm healthy and on the field, the last couple years haven't been a full season, but I feel I give the team a good chance to win."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.