It's only the first of many steps he must take before returning to pitch for the Nationals, but for Drew Storen, the simple act of making 100 light tosses with a trainer this afternoon was a welcome relief from the monotony he had been experiencing since having elbow surgery last month.
"It feels different," Storen said. "Not bad. It's just weird, because I haven't been throwing, so my arm is getting back into shape. I don't know if I've ever taken this much time off from throwing, period."
Storen, who had a bone spur removed from his right elbow, feels like he could cut loose right now but knows he must take a slower course of recovery than that. His 100 throws today (and Monday) were light tosses only, "like driving a Ferrari 5 miles an hour."
The Nationals closer will likely head down to extended spring training in Viera, Fla., next week when his teammates head out on a road trip. He's still targeting the All-Star break for his return from the disabled list.
"I try not to think about it too much, as much as I want to," he said. "Because especially with this process, you've got to go a day at a time, just try to win each battle every day."
Equally frustrated is Wilson Ramos, who tore the ACL in his right knee Saturday night but is still waiting to undergo surgery. Doctors told the catcher they must wait for swelling to diminish in the knee before performing the surgery, which might not be for another two or three weeks.
On the bright side, Ramos was told he suffered no damage other than the torn ACL, and the surgery to repair it is considered routine procedure.
Ramos (who today made his first appearance at Nationals Park since the injury) quashed any hope of returning to play in August or September.
"I think I'm not coming back this season," he said. "But I will be good for next season."
Though he won't play anymore in 2012, Ramos did say he plans to stay in Washington and be with his teammates.
"I will stay here before I get surgery," he said. "And when I get surgery, I want to stay here. I don't want to go back to Venezuela. It's better if I stay here, bring my mom, my family, to take care of me."