Clay Buchholz may not be back with the Red Sox for a while.
John Farrell told reporters on Wednesday that Buchholz received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in his right elbow from Dr. James Andrews during his second opinion on his strained flexor tendon.
By getting the injection, Buchholz's throwing program has been halted and the recovery process has been set back.
"It's going to be a few weeks," Red Sox GM Ben Cherington told reporters. "I don't think- as John said earlier, the diagnosis hasn't changed. The injection was discussed by our own guys by the time of the initial injury but it was an option that's been on the table. After a consultation today and the discussion between Andrews, he asked us and decided to go ahead with it. Clay decided he wanted to go ahead with it. But the diagnosis hasn't changed. The treatment has changed a little bit."
Fellow Red Sox pitcher Brandon Workman got a PRP injection his elbow in mid-April. His throwing program was halted for a few weeks, but after he began throwing again it was determined in mid-June that he needed Tommy John surgery.
The word is that the Sox got to Buchholz's injury ahead of time - before it got as bad as Workman's did. But the point is these injections don't always work, depending on the severity of the injuries.
In 2012, former Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford had a sprained UCL in his throwing elbow. He got the PRP injection in April. In August, he had Tommy John surgery.
Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had a slight tear of his UCL in his throwing elbow and elected to get the PRP injection. So far, he's avoided Tommy John surgery.
It's just something to consider as Buchholz tries to recover from a "strained flexor tendon" over the next month, especially when you consider he has two team options at $13 million per season to think about.