Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is step closer to recovering from shoulder surgery
BRADENTON, Fla. — For Gregory Polanco to take a step closer to a comeback from shoulder surgery, it required his target to take more than a dozen steps backward.
The Pittsburgh Pirates rightfielder stretched out his left arm by throwing the longest distance of his rehabilitation, estimating that he soft-tossed baseballs 75-80 feet on Monday morning at Pirate City. Polanco said he tossed a baseball for the first time last week, starting with 20 throws from about 60 feet.
“I feel really well. There’s no pain,” Polanco said. “Obviously, I’m tired but looser than last week. This week, it feels way better. I felt very strong. I know this process is going to be slow. I’m ahead of schedule but I’m not trying to rush. I’m just working hard every day.”
Polanco suffered an acute shoulder dislocated during an awkward slide into second base at PNC Park in September and it required surgery to stabilize his left (throwing) shoulder. Although he was initially estimated to be out from seven to nine months, Polanco said he hopes to be ready closer to mid-April than mid-June.
“I’m trying to put everything together,” Polanco said, “so when I come back I want to be 100 percent. … I’m working really hard to be back sooner where everybody expects — even me. If I can be ready by mid-April or the beginning of May, I’ll take it. I just don’t want to be into June or July. That’s too late.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin at [email protected] or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.