August 1, 2011

McAdam: Buchholz Has Stress Fracture In Lower Back

Sean McAdam:
Clay Buchholz, who's been out six weeks, is suffering from a stress fracture in his lower back, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

It's unlikely that Buchholz will pitch again this season, though a return in the postseason has not entirely been ruled out yet.

Buchholz, whose last start was June 16, is scheduled to see noted back specialist Dr. Thomas Watkins in Los Angeles Monday. But Watkins will likely only confirm what has already been diagnosed.
I am highly skeptical about Buchholz pitching before 2012. It appears that the tryouts for the #3 post-season starter begin tonight.

Theo Epstein said yesterday that "there is some concern" about Buchholz's condition.
It's been almost a couple of months now, which is longer than we expected it to be. ... I think we have a feel for what might be going on. But Clay is seeing another expert to get his opinion and then we're all going to put our heads together early this week. I'll refrain from answering in too much detail until I have a chance to talk with Clay and we all have a chance to talk things through.
Buchholz has been moved to the 60-day DL to make room on the roster for Erik Bedard - who may pitch on Thursday night.


9casey said...

We have the worst medical staff of all time..........

David Wright had this same issue and was out 8 weeks.

allan said...

No offense, but I don't see how any of us can know that Buchholz has "the same issue" as Wright.

laura k said...

I don't see how Buchholz can pitch again this season or post-season. Back injuries require a lot of rest then lots of rehab. (Tala agrees.)

Benjamin said...

We have the worst medical staff of all time..........

And the worst exploratory archeology staff too. Those fuckers won't even find the fountain of youth, much less get Tek to drink from it.

Philip said...

Hahahah, good one, Benjamin.

In all seriousness, similarly-described injury in similar location =/= same issue. I don't know how much medical knowledge you have, 9c, but "lower back" is sort of a vague area and a lot of different bones to fracture.

johngoldfine said...

Stress fracture in the spine is a terrifying diagnosis. I imagine the doc saying, "Clay, once it's healed you could be on your way to the HOF...or, if you come off the mound wrong some day, a wheelchair for the rest of your life."

Or maybe, fingers crossed, it's simply something that, once healed, leaves him good as new.

In any case, it's good that Theo had that gotta-be-a-Canadian-pitcher thing working over the weekend. If the Red Sox do find that fountain of youth, Benjamin, my pick for the first Canadian pitcher to drink from it would be Ferguson Jenkins, who, after all, does know something about pitching at Fenway.

laura k said...

With all the usual disclaimers about not being a doctor, blah blah blah, I don't think it's likely a stress fracture would end in paralysis, any more than a stress fracture in your shin would end up in amputation.

I've heard about just about every way a person can become spinal-cord injured (it was my writing area of expertise for a long time), and they can all pretty much be grouped in two categories: serious illness or catastrophic event. No tiny hairline fractures that grow.

laura k said...

For more on lower back stress fractures, if that is indeed what HH has, Google "spondylolysis". They're very common.

johngoldfine said...

The words 'stress' and 'fracture' were all it took to terrify me, Laura--convince me that this was something I would rather fear than google. Why settle for a reasonable investigation when my lizard brain is always fired up and ready to roll?

Anyway, how it plays out for me is that if Clay has only minor long-term problems, then my imaginary doc has all but promised him a HOF berth, something we can all look forward to watching him pitch his way towards, starting next April.

Michael Holloway said...

Thanks for the link Laura. Interesting.

I guess all these damn facts rule out my, "graphed third arm" diagnosis that I posted at Allan's earlier piece on this, "Buchholz: "At Least I Know There's Something There...":
(Comment link)