Nate Jones is in town for the rest of the homestand so the White Sox can assess what progress the tall right-hander has made.
Jones, who had reconstructive elbow surgery last July, has reached the point in his rehab where the White Sox need to see what he’s capable of before determining his next step.
As of now, Jones is expected to return to Glendale, Ariz. on Monday for more extended spring training. Jones -- who could come off the 60-day disabled list on June 4 -- has just begun to throw his slider, though he hasn’t yet used it in a bullpen session. He’s not yet sure when he could see game action but feels good about how he’s done so far.
“Knock on wood, I’m coming along pretty strongly and hopefully the rest of the rehab goes just as well,” Jones said on Wednesday. “I don’t know what the schedule is mapped out, but I know throw a side here Friday and that’s as far as I know. I know it’s going to change a little bit once I go home to start throwing more breaking balls and stuff like that, which I just started Monday off the mound.”
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The White Sox have previously established the All-Star break as a realistic time for Jones to return. They would love for Jones to return this summer and further fortify and already solid bullpen. But they’ve also shown they plan to err on the side of caution, too. Jones fared well in his rehab and was ready to start throwing once again around Thanksgiving but the White Sox delayed him until Jan. 1.
Despite the lengthy process (Tommy John can take 10-14 months to recover) Jones feels likes he close to returning.
“It’s like I’m finally seeing a little bit of the light,” Jones said. “I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself, but I’ve been throwing off the mound without pain and that’s a huge accomplishment from last year.”