Nine months after D-backs prospect Jarrod Parker was shut down with an elbow injury and seven months after surgery, the right-hander is scheduled throw a bullpen session Monday.
"I'm going to be on the mound Monday for my first bullpen session," Parker said. "(Friday) I'll finish up my long toss and be ready to go Monday on the mound."
Parker was at Chase Field Thursday to watch the D-backs take on the Giants and pitcher Tim Lincecum.
Parker had Tommy John surgery performed on Oct. 28 by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Last year, he went a combined 5-6 with a 3.14 ERA in 97 1/3 innings over 20 starts at Single-A Advanced Visalia and Double-A Mobile. In the 16 starts at Double-A, he posted a 3.68 ERA.
He went on the disabled list from June 14-24 with a right wrist contusion, and then on Aug. 17 for the remainder of the season with inflammation of his right elbow. Parker said his recovery has been going well.
"I have no complaints," he said. "Our medical staff has done everything right."
These days, Parker is living in Tucson to work out with the medical staff and trainers at the D-backs' minor league complex.
"I got the rehab protocol laid out," he said. "Right now it's kind of day-to-day with how I feel on the mound, but I'm going to bust my butt to be back as quickly as I can. That's just how I am. But they're going to want to be slow, with the surgery and the types of things that can happen."
At this point -- especially before Parker pitches in a bullpen session -- it's difficult to put any sort of specific timetable out for his return. However, a full return to health prior to Spring Training is certainly likely, barring any significant setbacks. A return for the Arizona Fall League in October is is something he'd like to try for, at least, but obviously less likely.
"(October) is a realistic goal for this year, but 110 percent in Spring Training is the for-real goal," Parker said. "But I would love to pitch in the Fall League."
This is the first real injury Parker has ever had in baseball, so his perspective has been strange. Never before has he had to watch baseball on TV without the opportunity to go play.
"That's the worst thing, watching games on TV every night," Parker said. "I go to rehab in the morning and get done at 11 or noon and then I'm watching games every night. I want to be out there. I want to pitch, I want to play. I'm just itching.
"(Rehabilitation) taught me some patience and being more mature. It's tough but I'm in the best shape of my life, putting on some real solid weight and getting in good shape. It kind of makes you look at the game a different way."