ARLINGTON, TEXAS -- The White Sox have changed directions in John Danks rehab in an effort to get him on the mound as soon as possible.
Danks, who said he wasnt as strong as he would have preferred in Fridays bullpen session but has been assured he cant injure himself worse, said hes on board with the teams plan. Rather than play long toss, the White Sox will only have Danks, who has been on the disabled list since May 20 with a left shoulder strain, throw off the mound and play catch.
Were not going to be doing lots and lots of throws in the throwing program and long toss, pitching coach Don Cooper said. Were going to get him loose enough to get him on the mound and try to get him to throw from 60 feet, six inches. And thats a distance were going to need him to be ready to do if he is ready to help us.
The White Sox would prefer to run Danks through a mini-spring training program where he gradually builds his arm strength over a 4-6 week period. But with the season coming to a close quickly, Danks has to speed up the process.
Obviously it would be ideal if we had longer time to build up arm strength, but we dont have that time, Danks said. Im on board. Kind of willing to do anything at this point to get back and this is what we come up with.
Doctors have assured Danks the program cant hurt him any more than he previously has been. Danks said he didnt recover as much as he hoped from Tuesdays bullpen session but believes he can push it further as he tries to rehab.
I was hoping for it to be a little bit better today, Danks said. Nonetheless I was able to get through it. Again, part of the process. Ive been assured the injury, I can push it more than I might want to. Ive been assured I cant hurt it. As long as I can get the strength back and get to where I can be effective, Im willing to try it.
Part of the reason for the expedited program is the minor league season comes to a close in August. Danks would likely need multiple minor-league appearances before he could be expected to return to the majors.
Its getting to that point where its going to have to happen pretty fast for him to be able to go down and have a rehab assignment and feel strong enough where he can come in here and pitch, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. Its getting closer and closer to that time, and if not, you kind of look toward next year.