Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz called Wednesday the "best day so far" as he works his way back from inflammation near his neck/shoulder, reports Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. The two-time All-Star threw 50 pitches across four simulated innings in the bullpen.
"Today felt like a good time for me to test it, and yeah, the last 30 pitches I didn't feel anything," said Buchholz. "I think that was the best thing I could take out of it."
Buchholz, 29, is scheduled to throw another aggressive side session on Saturday. If that goes well, the team will make plans for him to face batters in a simulated game before sending him out on a minor league rehab assignment.
"I think the one thing we want to be careful of is pinning ourselves to a clock," said manager John Farrell. "We feel like the foundation has been solidly built to advance, and Saturday, I think, will be another one of those building blocks. Hopefully he's facing hitters in our controlled setting soon. The most important thing is he feels good and it's another positive step."
Buchholz has not pitched since June 8 due to continued soreness and a handful of setbacks. Dr. James Andrews recently cleared the righty to resume throwing after he found no structural damage in his neck and shoulder.
In 12 starts before the injury, Buchholz went 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 84 1/3 innings.