Pitcher AJ Burnett's Progress Ahead of Schedule
When AJ Burnett went down with an elbow injury that needed reconstructive surgery in April of last season, the initial prognosis was that he would not be able to throw a baseball anywhere from 12-18 months. Apparently, Burnett is a fast healer as his rehabilitation is well ahead of schedule. The best-case scenario rehabilitation for pitchers recovering from elbow reconstructive surgery (also known as Tommy John Surgery) is 9 months before they can resume throwing workouts.
On Wednesday, Feb. 26th, after he completed is first public workout AJ was quoted as saying "I'll be back sooner than a lot of people expect." Burnett said he threw at "85-90 percent" of his full velocity. He also was able to work through his full arsenal of pitches; fastballs, curveballs, and changes. "I'm throwing hard and I'm throwing strikes. So far I haven't missed a beat" Burnett boasted confidently.
Team officials, however, are sticking to May 1st as Burnett's return date. "AJ's probably not going to be back until May 1, but who knows?" manager Jack McKeon was quoted as saying. "He probably could start sooner than we're going to let him. I see a very determined young man that wants to prove something."
Burnett agrees with management's plan for his comeback. "I'm strong. I'm in the best shape I've ever been in." Burnett confidently expressed. "I couldn't be happier with where I am now, but I'm not going to rush it."