John Danks has plenty of work ahead, but the White Sox are pleased with how he has progressed thus far.
Five months after he had shoulder surgery to repair a capsule tear and remove debris in the rotator cuff and biceps, Danks, the teams opening day starter last season, has successfully completed the long-toss portion of his rehab.
Team trainer Herm Schneider said in a team-released video on Thursday that Danks, who went 3-4 with a 5.70 ERA in nine starts last season, hasnt had any glitches in his rehab program thus far. Danks began his long-toss program a few days ahead of the planned Nov. 1 start date and completed it late last month.
Johnnys doing extremely well, Schneider said. He did the entire long toss program and completed it without a glitch. Our philosophy is a slow climb, not peaks and valleys, just a slow climb, and thats exactly what he did. Nothing but progress all the way through and completed it without a flaw. Were extremely pleased.
Reflecting upon last season, Danks isnt quite as pleased with his output. The left-hander is cognizant of the fact big things are expected of him after he signed a five-year, 65-million extension in December 2011. So an injury-plagued season, one in which he exhausted every effort to rehab before his Aug. 6 surgery, isnt quite up to Danks standards.
I felt like I was a waste of money last year to put it lightly, Danks said. I didnt do my job. I hurt the team more than I helped the team and that bugs me a little bit, a lot of bit. I want to get back to being a guy that is counted on, thought to be able to take the ball every fifth day and give us a chance to win.
Danks -- who was 40-31 with a 3.61 ERA in 608 13 innings from 2008-10 -- sounds as if he has taken the motivation from the last two seasons and instilled it into his rehab program. Schneider said Danks has adhered to every detail of the plan, which the trainer said is somewhat aggressive in order to get the pitcher on the mound as quickly as possible. The team is hopeful Danks can contribute in the 2013 season, but hasnt set any dates.
Surgerys like 10 percent of fix and 90 of the fix is the rehab and the time you put into it, Schneider said. As were seeing with Derrick Rose, theyre being careful with him. Were being careful, but were still being somewhat aggressive to get him back throwing because the longer you stay away from it the harder it is to get back into the swing of things, especially with the rhythm of pitching.
Johnny has worked very hard (he has) been diligent on everything weve asked him to.
Without any previous rehab experiences, Danks said because hes in unfamiliar territory, he determines his status based on Schneiders reactions. Thus far those conversations have been positive, Danks said. He looks forward to spring training, which begins in just over one month. White Sox pitchers and catchers hold their first workout on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Ariz.
Hes pleased, Danks said. That makes me feel good about things. I know that Im not where I need to be by any means but Im definitely making huge improvements every week. Im looking forward to getting on a mound and before we know itll be spring training.