"I'm just trying to get this rehab totally done and get 100 percent healthy, that's what I'm trying to do," Lance Pendleton said of his current progress. "I am healthy in a sense but at about 11 1/2 months [into his rehab], I had a little inflammation and a little scar tissue get in there that I had to take about three to four weeks off. When that happens, you've got to go through the whole throwing program again, all the bullpens again."
Pendleton had just gotten back into pitching in live games in April [in Extended Spring Training] when he started experiencing some pain. In fact, he was up to two innings per start, putting him about three or four weeks away from joining a season-team at the time.
Now going through the rehab program once again, he is at the point where he is getting set to throw live batting practice after getting ready to throw his final bullpen session on Friday.
"Just that these things happen coming off of a surgery," Pendleton said as to what he was thinking when he had the setback. "I've talked to a lot of people who have had the surgery. You hear all sorts of things."
"Some guys get back at 11 or 12 months and they're throwing in games and feel good. I haven't heard of many of those but I've heard a lot of guys who are back at 11 or 12 months who can throw, but it hurts them that whole first year they're throwing. And then once they hit 18 months after surgery, that's when it's pretty much completely healed and it doesn't bother them hardly at all."
"Then I've heard from other guys that every time they started to throw hard all the way up to 18 months, they couldn't do it because they kept having setback after setback."
"Where I was mentally was it just needed more time, it's nothing to panic about," Pendleton continued. "You hear all the time that you're not 100 percent healthy until two years out of this thing [Tommy John surgery]. A lot of guys are able to throw before then. So far I haven't been able to throw in games, well a couple of times, but I guess that's how the cookie crumbles. You've just got to go with it."
Seemingly unfazed by the setback, Pendleton realizes his window to pitch in live games this season is rapidly closing, but he isn't too worried about it right now.
"That's what I have to do," he said of just following the rehab process. "As we know, the season's coming to an end here. Whether or not they send me somewhere, just keep me here [at the minor league complex] to throw, whether or not they're going to have me come to Instructs or anything, they haven't said."
"We're just trying to take it one step at a time. They can't plan it out because they don't know how my arm is going to react. We're to the point now that the most important thing is being 100 percent for next season."
"I would love - even if it's pitching in the Gulf Coast League, I don't care because it's been so long. I would love to salvage any part of this season that I can and get, I don't care if it's five innings or twenty innings. I'd be happy doing that."
Taking a 'one step at a time' approach to his return, Pendleton believes his whole ordeal could make him stronger in the long run.
"I was going right through the rehab process," he admitted. "I was pumped and thinking by May I should be on a team. You've got to roll with the punches as I've said, but it's still wasn't fun. It's hard being that close and not having anything going wrong and then something goes wrong and it really puts you back. It's not anything I can't handle though."
Pendleton Had To Start Over
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