Clay Buchholz has been confirmed to sport a stress fracture in his back, specifically in his L2 (lumbar) vertebrae, CSNNE.com reports.
Manager Terry Francona didn't rule Buchholz out for the rest of the year, but it's likely that he will be unavailable to pitch. It's possible he could make it back for the end of September or the postseason, but he would not have any minor-league games to rehab in. Surgery is not required; he will simply rest and rehabilitate his back.
"My aim is to try and get back for the postseason and to try and help this team win," Buchholz told the Boston Globe.
Buchholz landed on the map last season by posting a 2.33 ERA in 28 starts, finishing sixth in Cy Young Award voting. This year, Buchholz had a 3.48 ERA in 14 starts, striking out 60 and walking 31 over 82 2/3 innings. The Red Sox acquired Erik Bedard at the trade deadline in an attempt to fill the void. Bedard will make his first start on Thursday against the Indians.
The team released a statement saying there's no timetable for his return:
“Clay has a stress fracture in his lumbar spine. He is responding to treatments and his symptoms are improving. We have sent Clay to see three spine specialists, who all agree that the injury is stable and will heal on its own. Clay will follow a five-step structured rehabilitation program, which will progress as his symptoms allow. When completed, Clay will be cleared to resume throwing. There is currently no time frame on his return, and his return this season has not been ruled out.”For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.