John Lackey wasn’t the only pitcher returning to the mound yesterday.

Over on Field 2, behind JetBlue Park’s Green Monster, Clay Buchholz threw a simulated game in his first real work off a mound since straining his right hamstring on Feb. 12.

Buchholz threw 37 pitches from the windup and stretch while facing hitters like Juan Carlos Linares and Mike Carp, and came through feeling healthy and ready to take the next step in his preparation for the start of the season.

“I felt really good,” Buchholz said. “The one thing I definitely need to sit back and work on is definitely out of the stretch. I didn’t get to go in depth with it. There are obviously some kinks in the delivery, but other than that I feel strong. Obviously, first and foremost, the arm feels really good, and the hamstring was secondary to that for me. I’ve been running the last couple of days, sprint stuff, and I haven’t had anything holding me back.”