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Clay Buchholz back after ‘scary’ hospital stay

Clay Buchholz, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday because of stomach illness, was back in the Red Sox clubhouse before Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Buchholz spent five days at Mass. General Hospital where he was diagnosed with esophagitis, which led to an erosion of the esophagus and an associated bleed.

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“It was real scary,’’ Buchholz said. “I never really felt the urge to pass out every time I stood up and I didn’t know what was going on. Whenever you got doctors telling you, ‘All right, come on over to my office and we’ll check you out,’ and you’re like, ‘I can’t get there, I can’t walk,’ it was pretty scary for about three days.”

“They were trying to downplay it, but when you’re laying in an ICU [intensive care unit], where I’m from it usually means that stuff’s not going really well,’’ Buchholz said. “Once I got out of there, the doctors were pretty upfront about it, saying it wasn’t really life-threatening at this point. They just had me in [the ICU] to make sure that I wasn’t really losing any more blood.’’

Buchholz, who said he was visited Tuesday by Sox principal owner John Henry and team president Larry Lucchino, was fed intravenously for the first 72 hours of his hospital stay and received about three to four pints of blood.

“They were basically giving me medicine to coat my stomach and put it wherever the bleeding was coming from to stop the bleeding,’’ he said. “That’s when they started doing the tests. I really never cared to know what was going on, I just wanted to get out of there and that’s where I’m at now.’’

Asked if his physicians were able to pinpoint the cause of his gastrointestinal bleeding, Buchholz said, “No, I’m sure I’m going to have to go in and do some more tests when the guys go on the road. We might know a little bit more from that. But they still really hadn’t put a finger on what happened or what caused it and why it stopped bleeding or when it started, so, yeah, it would be news to me, too.’’

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Buchholz returned to the clubhouse Wednesday where manager Bobby Valentine said, “He looked so much better than I was led to believe. Hasn’t lost as much weight as I heard he had. He had good color. Eyes were bright.

“The difference is going to be getting him back in the saddle and hopefully the illness is behind us.’’

Buchholz didn’t put any timetable on his expected return, saying it would be important first to get his legs underneath him.

“Getting legs back under him is really important,’’ Valentine said. “It’s not a cliche. It’s figurative as well as literal. He says it, but you really have to have that foundation before you start propelling the ball forward.’’

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