CINCINNATI -- Ryan Madson has taken a lap around the calendar in his rehabilitation from last April’s Tommy John surgery, but the Angels reliever has found the last hurdle the toughest to clear.
Madson felt tightness in his elbow after throwing a 40-pitch, high-intensity bullpen workout on March 27 and was shut down for about a week. The right-hander returned to a mound Wednesday but only for a light, 15-pitch session.
“Sometimes it’s a trust factor; sometimes it’s that little hurdle of discomfort you want to get over,” pitching coach Mike Butcher said of the final stages of rehabilitation. “It’s like a scab you’re picking at that doesn’t heal, and it finally goes away.”
Butcher considered Madson’s setback minor and insisted the closer is “not back to square one.”
Madson will increase his pitch counts and the intensity of his bullpen sessions “as he can tolerate,” Butcher said. An April return appears highly unlikely.