BOSTON - Alex Cobb said his sore back is improving daily, but he doesn’t know whether he’ll be ready to come off the injured list Tuesday when he’s eligible.
He wasn’t aware of the exact date of his eligibility until told this afternoon by a member of the media. Nothing is circled on his calendar.
“Every day is better,” said Cobb, who was placed on the IL Tuesday with a lumbar strain, the move backdated to Saturday.
“The progress from my everyday life, just getting around and stuff like that, is almost back to normal I’d say. We haven’t tried throwing yet, but we want to calm the fire down as much as possible before we start doing that, make sure we don’t go backward in any capacity. But we’re all happy with where it’s at right now.”
Cobb began the season on the IL with a groin injury and made his season debut in the April 4 home opener against the Yankees. He allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The back issue cropped up shortly after he left the game.
“I don’t know what I was doing,” he said. “I was just moving around, about to work out, and it just kind of grabbed on me and gave out. Honestly, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. We thought it would definitely clear up by the next game, but I think I re-aggravated it a little bit during the week again.
“We tried pushing it and trying to get back in time for the last game of the Oakland series, or whatever game I was supposed to start, and it just didn’t respond well.”
Cobb won’t be cleared to pitch again until he has an uneventful side day.
“I think there’s a point to where the pain is measured in a way to where it’s hurting rather than just I notice it, so once that pain goes away, we can start building off it,” he said.
“These questions are so hard to answer. Everybody wants to know why it happened, when you’re going to be back. You just really have to take it slow and each day. So I envision it clearing up quickly because the progress every day is noticeable.
“I think there’s a million different opinions that go into it, everything from the bed you sleep in to holding your newborn, overcompensating the groin, everything. The travel. It’s something we’re dealing with. I don’t care why it happened other than try to get better. I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for anybody of why it happened.”
Some lingering discomfort is keeping Cobb from expressing absolute confidence in a return date.
“We’re going to have to throw a bullpen and reevaluate after that,” he said. “Right now we’re just waiting for the pain to go away completely before we start playing catch and that’s tomorrow.”
Cobb doesn’t walk around feeling as though the season hasn’t started for him. He isn’t buying into that narrative.
“I pitched in a game already,” he said. “It’s been good. Obviously this isn’t something I wanted to happen, to deal with, but I can relate the two together, the groin and the back. I think one caused the other. And to be able to get back from the groin so quickly, it wasn’t even really like I missed a start. I pitched six, seven days after my scheduled start, so that wasn’t that big of a deal.
“To have this setback is unfortunate, but I’m just happy that it hasn’t been anything too serious where I’m missing a huge chunk of time. I feel like I’m in the middle of the season. I threw my bullpen this week. This is day three of not throwing, but I still feel like I’m right in the middle of it all.”
Meanwhile, catcher Austin Wynns is joining Double-A Bowie on an injury rehab assignment and likely will be in Saturday’s lineup.