Nationals pitcher Chien Ming-Wang is making slow progress in his rehabilitation from major shoulder surgery, but there are encouraging signs.
Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams told me Wang will throw a sideline session in Viera, FL on Friday.
"It was major shoulder surgery, similar to the Drew Brees injury, and we are still a long way away. But I am encouraged with the progression I am seeing from him compared to the last time I worked with him. I used to see tension on his face (when he would throw) and could tell he was worrying about his shoulder. But now there is more fluidity in his motion and and he is feeling more confidence."
Wang will throw sideline off the mound Friday. Williams says it will just be fastballs for a maximum of 30 pitches.
"We are in unchartered territory here with Wang. Normally, after major shoulder surgery it takes around two years to get back to full strength. That is not to say he won't pitch before that two year period (expires). A lot of players come back before that time period."
"He wants to do well and push harder. But we have made him understand it will take time. He is a very hard worker."
Following Friday's sideline session, Williams says they will see how Wang feels on Saturday and Sunday and then go from there.
"If he feels fine (on Sunday), then we would setup a 30-day rehab calendar and take it day by day."