2009 NEWS

2009 NEWS > 5/11/09

GLAVINE MAPS OUT RETURN TO MOUND

By Mark Bowman
Original Article HERE.

NEW YORK -- One month ago, Tom Glavine was certain that he was just six days away from making his regular-season debut. To guard against the possibility of experiencing more disappointment, the 43-year-old left-hander is remaining cautiously optimistic about the fact that he could be taking the mound for the Braves again during their next road trip.

In a bullpen session at Citi Field on tap for Wednesday, Glavine plans to push himself in the same manner that he would while completing a two- or three-inning rehab start. To simulate game conditions, he'll take at least one break during the session that is expected to consist of 35-40 pitches.

If all goes well, Glavine will likely aim to make a Minor League rehab start early next week. He'll be on a timetable that would provide him a chance to start during the four-game series the Braves will play against the Diamondbacks in Arizona from May 28-31.

"There's a possibility that I'll only need one rehab start, but that's probably not likely," Glavine said. "It would probably make more sense to have two rehab starts."

Glavine is obviously much more optimistic than he was during the days following April 12, when he experienced some concerning shoulder discomfort during a swing that he took in what was supposed to be his final Minor League rehab appearance. Thoughts of retirement slowly faded and the 300-game winner grew even more encouraged during two throwing sessions that he completed last week. He essentially tested his arm during a May 4 bullpen session at Turner Field and then threw with much less fear during a 90-pitch session on Friday in Philadelphia.

"I felt it was dramatically better in terms of my arm strength and my velocity than the time I threw in Atlanta," Glavine said. "But at the same time, I went into the side session in Atlanta with a lot more trepidation."

Glavine, who had his elbow and shoulder surgically repaired during the same August procedure, says that he feels his arm strength is as good as it was before he suffered his setback last month.

"In all honesty, I probably feel better now than I did then," Glavine said. "But I'm probably mentally more in a day-to-day mode than I was then. Because I don't know what happened. Because of that uncertainty, there's always in the back of my mind, 'Well, that could happen again.'"