First, Peavy smiled over feeling good on the mound once again, marking his first time facing hitters since March 19 against the A's in Phoenix. Then, the veteran right-hander experienced a small sense of déjà vu.
"Here we go again," said Peavy in a reserved but satisfied tone. "We tried it before, and hopefully we can sustain it this time."
One of the more compelling White Sox Spring Training stories over the past six weeks has been Peavy's comeback from experimental surgery on July 14 of last season to reattach the tendon that anchors the latissimus dorsi muscle to the rear of his right shoulder. Peavy not only was climbing pitch count-wise with each of his four Cactus League starts, but looked effective in getting the work done.
Breaking camp with the White Sox didn't seem out of the question. But the shoulder was not bouncing back as well as Peavy would have liked from outing to outing, and he was shut down upon feeling discomfort following the 83-pitch effort against Oakland.
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"We hope, with the medication, the anti-inflammatory and all that good jazz and all the treatment. I'm getting tons of treatment in the training room," Peavy said. "Hopefully that, and with the shoulder one more time, it will start to taxi that load a little better. We hope that's something that happens. I'm going to push to make it happen.
"Being able to put those innings on and come back tomorrow and feel normal soreness and not anything that we'd deem painful and not normal soreness. We hope that's the case and I certainly think having the medication in the system and the treatment we've done, that should be reasonable this time."
A Sunday start for Peavy during extended spring training is next on the agenda, followed by what he hopes will be an April 8 rehab start at Triple-A Charlotte against Norfolk. Peavy will join the White Sox in Chicago on April 9, missing the season opener and home opener, which is a first in his big league career.
If the pitch count continues to rise, possibly hitting the 100 mark in an April 13 rehab start, and the shoulder continues to bounce back, there's an outside shot Peavy could start for the White Sox on April 20. But as Peavy has promised on a few occasions, he won't return until he's completely ready.
Tuesday's effort, complete with the full-on Peavy mound intensity, was a step in the right direction.
"I'll try to get to where I can throw 100 pitches," Peavy said. "When I can do that and bounce back and do it again five days later, I'm going to say I'm ready to pitch in the big leagues and give it all I can to get back to Chicago. When I get to Chicago, I want to stay there."