After six weeks of false hope and maddening disappointment, Clay Buchholz will turn to the foremost authority on shoulder injuries to determine exactly what is causing his right shoulder to keep flaring.
Today, Buchholz has an appointment with Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla.

It usually is an ominous sign whenever a pitcher meets with Andrews. But Buchholz’ trip comes at the suggestion of agent John Courtright and with the full endorsement of the Red Sox, who are exasperated that the All-Star right-hander has been unable to pitch since June 8 despite being diagnosed with only inflammation in the bursa sac of his right shoulder.

“Given all Clay has dealt with, the stop and start of this process and the rehab associated with the shoulder, neck,” manager John Farrell said, “more than anything, to get some verification and clarification through Dr. Andrews to put his mind at ease is as important as anything that he’s dealing with from a physical standpoint.”

If Andrews clears Buchholz to intensify his throwing program, the Red Sox will be less inclined to make a deal for White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy, Astros right-hander Bud Norris or another starter before the July 31 trade deadline.

According to Farrell, Andrews already has reviewed results from MRI exams administered to Buchholz. Andrews likely will conduct his own examination, then advise Buchholz on how to proceed.