He’s one step closer to returning to the mound, but Jake Peavy knows now more than ever he needs to remain patient.
The White Sox starting pitcher played catch Wednesday afternoon for the first time since he went on the 15-day disabled list three weeks ago with a fractured left rib. Peavy said he felt natural in the seven-minute session and hopes he can possibly throw off a mound within a week. At the same time, Peavy, who thinks he wouldn’t return before the All-Star break, realizes he must take his time as he recovers from the injury.
“Patience is something that I’ve never really been blessed with,” Peavy said. “I am getting older. I am getting wiser. I’m not going to run out there anymore like I tried to do there in Seattle, tried to tough through. At the end of the day, you aren’t helping anybody by going out there. The mind is a powerful thing and can talk you into thinking you are going to go out there and do it. But at the end of the day, physically you can’t do it. I know my limitations. I know my body as (well as) I’ve ever known it.”
While he said he had no pain, Peavy still could feel the afflicted area as he stretched out his arm for the first time. The right-hander, who is 6-4 with a 4.30 ERA in 11 starts, is healing correctly. He took an X-ray on Tuesday, and the results were positive, Peavy said.
He also has ridden an exercise bike up to an hour every day since he jumped back into action last week. But having taken three weeks off throwing, Peavy has to catch up again. He hopes to play catch for a week and start to throw off a mound next week. After that, the plan is for a rehab assignment.
As much as he’d like to rush, however, Peavy said his body has let him know how much work he has.
“I couldn’t do anything to get my heart rate up to where my lungs would expand because your ribcage is affected by that,” Peavy said. “Not doing anything for a three-week period is not ideal in the middle of the season to try to come back and be full strength. So the biggest thing is trying to come up with a gameplan to get your legs back under you, get your cardio back where it needs to be and arm. Make sure you mechanically stay the same. A lot goes into it.”
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As for how the injury occurred, Peavy still isn’t certain. He does believe, however, he probably pitched through the injury longer than he first assumed and it led to the area becoming as inflamed as it could be.
“It was gradual because I felt it coming,” Peavy said. “I felt it, and I thought it was a rib head thing. This is something I felt last year. I was actually told last year in Detroit that I had a broken rib, and it turned out being the opposite. Last year it turned out being an old X-ray machine there in (the) Tigers' stadium. And then me getting further tested I had a rib head out of place. We got it cracked and it went back to normal, but it was painful. I honestly thought that had happened again. I was getting it cracked, seeing chiropractors. Adam (Dunn) and Mark Parent picked me up and tried to crack my back into place. I think all of that and me being kind of stubborn pitching through it. I know that me trying to pitch, I was told, did make it worse that it probably would have been if I backed off. That’s really all I got.”