Results tagged ‘ Dr. Tom Gill ’

Will Buchholz pitch again in 2011?

As the Red Sox formally addressed Clay Buchholz’s condition on Tuesday — confirming a report earlier this week that he has a stress fracture in his back — the one thing everyone wanted to know is this: Can the ultra-talented righty pitch again in 2011?

“I think there’s absolutely a chance,” said Red Sox medical director Tom Gill. “I just don’t know how big that chance is. I think that there’s a great chance he would be healed by then, so to speak. Or that the fracture would be stable by then. The question is, how much time does Clay then need to get Major League ready? You have to remember, Pawtucket, their season is over before the postseason. So that’s going to be kind of an internal baseball decision and working with Clay, how much time he needs to get back. After he’s medically cleared, he then has to get baseball cleared.”

Obviously the Red Sox’s chances to win a World Series go down at least a little without Buchholz. He was one of the best No. 3 starters in the game, and pitching means so much in October.

How closely can Erik Bedard come to resembling Buchholz? Can Theo Epstein find another starter through waivers in August? Can Andrew Miller finally put it together? What will John Lackey be going forward?

Offensively, the Red Sox have more than enough to make it through the rest of the season. But their success in October will hinge on how they pitch.

As for Buchholz, he was obviously disappointed that his season is now hanging by a thread.

“All along, I knew something was there, so, yeah, it’s good to go to a guy and have him be so forward with it and have him say it’s not a career-threatening thing and it’s not even a season-ending thing for me,” Buchholz said. “That’s a sigh of relief knowing that it’s almost been two months but at least I know there’s something there and I’m not just a big wuss.”

What is ahead for Buchholz is a five-step program that figures to be as monotonous as it is necessary if he’s to have any hope of pitching again this season.

“I’ve just looked at it briefly with [trainer] Mike [Reinold],” Buchholz said. “It’s a core stabilization and back stabilization type of exercise that can be over in a month and a half or it could take a little bit longer. I think there’s going to be a whole re-evaluation after a month of that program with Mike and the other guys in there, and we’ll go from there.”

The red flag was the side session that the Red Sox carefully built Buchholz up to pitching on July 25, and things still didn’t feel all the way back.

“Pitching that day was tolerable, ” Buchholz said. ” It didn’t feel 100 percent, but it felt 75 or 80 percent. The last 10 pitches I threw, I threw them at a pretty good effort level. After that was over with, I was pretty excited about that, knowing I could pitch with that kind of pain. The next morning, I woke up and it was back to the way it was in Tampa.  It got aggravated from that, and that’s why I realized that it was going to take even longer than what I expected it to take after all the other expectations.”

Could Buchholz make a grand re-entry in October?

“Yeah, if there was a timetable, the postseason would be where I’d want to come back. That makes the most sense to me as far as being able to help this club,” said Buchholz.

Buchholz is determined to pitch again before Spring Training.

“Knowing that I can come back and play this season and potentially help this club win and get to the World Series again, that’s what I’m striving for right now,” Buchholz said.

Ellsbury has different fracture

The Red Sox now know why Jacoby Ellsbury had recurring pain during his brief stint back from the disabled list. After an exam in California with the renowned Dr. Lewis Yocum, and a follow-up phone consultation with Red Sox medical director Thomas Gill, it was determined that Ellsbury suffered a different fracture in his left ribs. The injury was likely sustained on May 23, when Ellsbury made a diving catch in Philadelphia against Raul Ibanez in the bottom of the seventh.

The Red Sox issued the following joint statement just moments ago from Dr. Gill and Dr. Yocum.

“An MRI of Jacoby’s thoracic spine and posterior rib area, recommended by us jointly, revealed a non-displaced rib fracture and edema in the left posterior-axillary line.  This fracture, which is in a different area than the initial fractures and which was not present on previous scans, is likely the result of a new injury which occurred when Jacoby dove and impacted the ground during his brief return to play.  Jacoby will require several weeks of rest and physical therapy.”

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that Ellsbury flew from California to Arizona and will work out at the Athletes Performance Institute for roughly the next two weeks, doing non-baseball activites. Though the Red Sox didn’t issue a time-table for his return, it seems unlikely that Ellsbury would return before the All-Star break, which starts on July 12.

Ellsbury initially injured his ribs on April 11 in a nasty collision with teammate Adrian Beltre. On that occasion, Ellsbury suffered a hairline fracture of four ribs. The outfielder has played in just nine games this season.

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