Gavin Floyd hopes he can pitch by early next season, but the first step is simply throwing a baseball.
Floyd could start doing that in about six weeks once he gets the approval of Dr. David Altchek, who performed surgery on Floyd May 7 to repair a torn flexor muscle and ulnar collateral ligament near his pitching elbow. The injury occurred April 27 against Tampa Bay, when Floyd threw a pitch in the third inning and immediately felt pain in his elbow, forcing him out of the game.
“I think I've got my range of motion back right now,” Floyd said Saturday. “So it's a big step I guess but a small step, you know. It's kind of a long process and I get to see Dr. Altchek in I think about a month … After that hopefully I get to toss a little bit."
Recovering from the injury usually takes 14 to 19 months, which could keep Floyd out for most of the 2014 season. But he’s still targeting the start of next season.
[White Sox notes: Peavy not on pitch count; Konerko could return Monday]
“Everybody's different. I've heard guys come back in 10 months,” Floyd said. “I've heard guys come [back] in 12 and 14 [months]. So I'm hopeful that I'll come back and be ready early next year, but you never know."
Floyd’s contract expires after this season. The White Sox could sign him to a low-risk, incentive-laden deal for next year. Not playing has given Floyd time to contemplate his future, but it’s unlikely the Sox will consider signing him for next season until he’s further along in his rehab.
“Obviously you can't play this year so there's kind of a wide spectrum of things that could happen next year and you've just got to be open and just got to focus on getting back,” Floyd said.
Floyd had a 5.18 ERA in five starts before the injury, but he’s been a regular in the Sox rotation since 2008 and is one of just four American League pitchers to win at least 10 games in each of the past five seasons. He is 63-65 with a 4.22 ERA in seven seasons with the Sox.