Tuesday August 30, 2011 | 04:33 PM

Clay Buchholz, on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his back, threw for the first time today, taking part in some light outfield toss.

"Clay threw 60 feet today, 25 throws," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Which is, not in the grand scheme of things exciting, but it was for us.

"Obviously we're going to go slow, kind of deliberate. The fact that he did so well in his core work is really exciting. Whether this turns into him pitching (this year), we don't know. It's still exciting that he has done so well up to this point.

"We'll see where it goes. Probably (soft toss) every other day. You won't see this escalate in a hurry."

Boston would certainly like Buchholz back, but the Red Sox also have plenty of starters, for the moment. With Andrew Miller pitching well again, he will remain in the rotation this weekend, for the series against Texas. It will be Miller, Erik Bedard and John Lackey against the Rangers.

Tim Wakefield, foiled in his attempt for his 200th win, will have to wait longer. Francona said Wakefield will pitch in the Blue Jays series, Sept. 5-8 in Toronto.

Back to injury news: Both J.D. Drew and Kevin Youkilis are scheduled to play for Pawtucket tonight and Wednesday.

Reliever Bobby Jenks had a scheduled rehab with Salem interrupted, first by a hurricane, then by Jenks getting ill. He is back in Boston getting re-evaluated.

On Thursday, the rosters can be expected to include any player on the 40-man roster. Drew will be activated then. Youkilis will be eligible to be activated on Friday, when his stint on the DL is up.

Francona said catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who was recently sent back to Pawtucket, can return on Sept. 5. The Red Sox usually add a third catcher in September, so Lavarnway's presence is expected.

Asked if another catcher would come up between Sept. 1 and 5 (i.e. Luis Exposito), Francona said no.

The only other player expected to be added to the roster on Thursday or Friday will be a pitcher. Francona would not say who, but candidates include Felix Doubront, Junichi Tazawa and Kyle Weiland.

Also, pitching coach Curt Young will not be at the game because his father passed away. Bullpen coach Gary Tuck will serve as the pitching coach.



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Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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