If the right-hander is able to begin his assignment this weekend, he'd make either two or three rehab starts before returning to the Red Sox. Minor-league seasons end at the beginning of September unless teams make the playoffs, so the only way Buchholz will be able to get three starts in is if one of Boston's affiliates makes the postseason.
The 29-year-old has been on the disabled list since June 9 because of inflammation in his neck and shoulder caused by a strained bursa sac. Initially, the injury was supposed to keep him on the sidelines for the bare minimum, but lingering discomfort and a setback in his first attempt at rehab have kept the right-hander out of the rotation for over two months.
Buchholz made a go at starting a rehab stint in early July, but continued discomfort caused him to shut things down and seek a second opinion from elbow/shoulder specialist Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Andrews confirmed that nothing was wrong with his shoulder structurally, so the right-hander resumed his recovery.
Buchholz was off to a great start for the Red Sox before his shoulder gave way, posting a 1.71 earned-run average and notching nearly a strikeout per inning through his first 12 starts. If Buchholz is able to earn a win in his first decision back from the DL, he'll become just the second pitcher since 1997 to start his season 10-0, joining Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer.