Zach Putnam hasn’t picked up a ball in his rehab and yet he already thinks his surgery was a success.
The White Sox reliever stopped by the clubhouse on Wednesday and reported feeling great in his recovery from surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. Putnam, who had a 2.30 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings this season, expects to have a normal offseason. Though he won’t start to throw until December, Putnam said he already noticed the impact of the Aug. 6 surgery in his everyday life.
“It was about two weeks ago so I was about a month out of surgery, I started feeling like ‘Wow, this is coming back,’” Putnam said. “It was nice because at times I was forgetting I had surgery. I felt that good. I’m definitely better than I was before already. I’m excited to see what the next four to six weeks hold as far as where I’m going to be at.”
General manager Rick Hahn said earlier this month he thought both Putnam and Jake Petricka, who is recovering from hip surgery, would be ready in time for spring training. The White Sox bullpen would be in much better shape if both are available. The two combined for 100-plus innings last season and are trusted members of manager Robin Ventura’s bullpen. Without them, the White Sox have had to rely on a number of untested pitchers with mixed results.
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Putnam said he had his final appointment with the doctor on Wednesday prior to coming to see his teammates at U.S. Cellular Field. He also agrees the decision to have surgery was the right one.
“There was one really good size (bone chip) and then just some pieces of debris,” Putnam said. “Definitely surgery that needed to happen and reiterated that fact after I saw what they took out of there. It was pretty gnarly stuff.
“I’ve been doing physical therapy here for a few weeks and range of motion and everything is coming back really nicely. I’m ahead of probably where I would normally be.
“I’m feeling good.”