Six weeks removed from undergoing ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow, pitcher Dylan Bundy remains encouraged by his recovery and the progress he's making toward getting back on a mound.
Bundy is on schedule with his rehab at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, which should enable him to begin throwing in late November - five months after his procedure.
"Today is six weeks, which is kind of a big deal," Bundy said yesterday while driving to Orlando to attend a birthday dinner for his agent's wife. "That's when the ligament really begins to mature and heal. Now, I'll take the time for the ligament to mature even more.
"I think starting tomorrow or this weekend, I'll start working out on the treadmill, running more than just being on a bike. Until today, I was just riding the bike and doing a little bit of core exercise. Not much. Some forearm exercises, a little bit of that. Working on my range of motion. The good thing is, in another week I'll pretty much have full range of motion. I'm pretty close right now.
"I feel fine and I'm right where I want to be. They said in six weeks I'd pretty much have full range of motion."
Bundy, who will continue to work with minor league medical coordinator Dave Walker through the rest of the year, hasn't pitched in a game since spring training. He fully expects to be in a rotation in 2014, though pinpointing an exact date is impossible.
"A lot of people ask me if I'll be back in April," Bundy said. "I say, 'Probably not.' There's a chance, but I highly doubt it. Then they say, 'What about June?' I don't know. It depends how my arm reacts when I start throwing. I'm pretty sure I'll start tossing from 45 feet around the end of November. Then I think it takes four months for you to be 100 percent on the mound and facing batters. We'll see.
"It will definitely be in between May and August. You never know. It depends if I have any setbacks, if I'm not throwing the way I should throw or if I don't feel the way I should. I don't want to try to come back early and do the whole thing over again. I may as well take my time and do it right."
Progress for Bundy, ranked the No. 2 prospect by Baseball America before the season, included being able to accept his fate
"The last two weeks, I feel a lot better about it," he said. "I got my brace off nine days ago, and since then it's been better every day. I can move my arm and do daily activities. I can open doors, shut doors, pick up small things. I feel kind of normal now. The brace kept the elbow from rotating, which puts a lot of stress on the ligament. But I can still bend and straighten my arm.
"No pitcher thinks they're going to get hurt or that it could happen to them, but you've only got so many bullets in your arm. Luckily, it was my elbow. They say the shoulder is harder to rehab.
"It was tough the first two or three weeks, realizing you're going to be out a full year. Now, I feel a lot better about it."
Bundy's older brother, Bobby, also is rehabbing his right elbow after undergoing surgery a week earlier to remove a bone chip. He also had surgery the previous year to remove bone spurs and hasn't pitched since making 17 starts for Double-A Bowie in 2012.
"Bobby's doing good," Dylan said. "They say he can start throwing next week, but I think he'll hold off until the instructional league and make sure his arm's reacting all right. And he'll throw in the off-season and in spring training next year.
"We live together down here right now. We were partners for a little bit because we both got PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections. We were doing the same stuff together. It was a little better knowing the injection didn't hold us back too much."