John Danks didn't know what to expect when he rolled out of bed this morning, a day after throwing 20 pitches in the White Sox bullpen. Those pitches represented a step forward for Danks, who hasn't pitched in the majors since May 19. But the biggest step forward came today, when Danks didn't feel anything out of the ordinary in his left shoulder.
"I kind of had an idea that I'd be sore, certainly that," Danks said Wednesday. "But I don't think it's quite as bad as it's been the last few times I've come off throwing. Hopefully this is sign of improvement and we can go from there."
Head trainer Herm Schneider told Danks his soreness was normal, which is positive for someone who's experienced abnormal soreness following the few steps forward it appeared he made in previous throwing sessions or rehab starts.
"The last couple days have been an improvement," Danks said. "It's definitely something I've needed, and hopefully we don't backtrack from there."
Danks isn't expected back for at least another month. A.J. Pierzynski, however, will be back in the White Sox lineup on Friday when the team opens a three-game series in Texas. The catcher missed Tuesday's game and isn't starting Wednesday due to a minor oblique strain.
"It's one of those, you never know how bad it's going to be," manager Robin Ventura said. "For him, he's a tough guy, he could probably play through it. But again, if he injures it worse, then he'll probably end up on the DL. It's better to be protective of it."