New Angels closer Ryan Madson, shown throwing earlier this year, experienced… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
TEMPE, Ariz.--Ryan Madson’s return from Tommy John surgery hit a minor snag when the reliever experienced tightness in his elbow after last Thursday’s bullpen session, a setback that prompted the right-hander to tweak his exercise and throwing program to meet the more rigorous demands of throwing off a mound.
Madson, who has thrown off a mound only twice since Feb. 1, played long-toss on Tuesday, and he is expected to throw off a mound again “in the next day or two,” Manager Mike Scioscia said.
The former Philadelphia Phillies closer, who had surgery last April and was shut down for several weeks after a Feb. 1 bullpen session, will open the season on the disabled list. The Angels remain hopeful he will be game-ready by late April.
“I definitely feel a lot stronger than I did when I was throwing in January,” Madson said Tuesday. “The elbow is strong, more healthy, more mature. The intensity level is where I’ve run into problems. It’s tightened up a little bit after the bullpens, and we’re trying to figure out why.”
Scioscia called Madson’s setback a “normal part of the progression” for a player in the final stages of rehab from Tommy John surgery.
“Sometimes that last 5% takes a little bit of time,” Scioscia said. “His body will let us know when he’s really ready to start pushing off the mound. It took him a little extra time to rebound, but this is nothing totally out of the ordinary from what you’d expect.”
Madson’s goal is to bring the same level of intensity from his long-toss sessions to his bullpen workouts, which will require him to cut back on some of his work in the weight room to conserve energy. He’s trying to maintain a positive attitude, which can be difficult in the face of such a long and often-grueling rehab process.
“I don’t get disappointed -- that’s an adolescent approach of letting your emotions get the best of you,” Madson, 32, said. “I’m going to come in every day with a good attitude and leave every day with a good attitude.”
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