Peavy believes unique injury is behind him

Peavy believes unique injury is behind him

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Spring Training workouts for the White Sox have only covered one week, filled with bullpens and live batting-practice sessions leading up to their first Cactus League game still sitting four days away on Monday.

But the three words uttered by Jake Peavy prior to Thursday's workout should serve as music to the ears of White Sox fans at any time of year.

"I feel awesome," said Peavy, sitting in front of his locker before taking the field.

Peavy has been slightly hampered by a right eye infection that has all but cleared up. As far as his mound work is concerned, well, the right-hander feels great.

Upon arriving at camp, some 19 months removed from surgery to reattach his lat muscle, Peavy spoke about carrying a sense of encouragement for this upcoming season and how he was as healthy as he possibly could be. On Thursday, Peavy took another stab at defining that particular health assessment.

"Getting back to the form that I used to be, I believe that's a real possibility," Peavy said. "But I can't tell you what exactly I'm going to have. As games in spring go on and you start to progress and get some arm strength going toward the end of the spring, I'll have an idea of what I'm going to be able to do.

"You'll still get stronger and kind of identify yourself that first month of the season. I'm looking forward to seeing how things progress, and really what I have and velocity-wise and how I'm going to be able to bounce back.

"It's all yet to be seen. Last year was a straight trial run, and I was up and down. They told me, 'Hey, you are not where you are going to be.' But now I'm past that 18-month window where they said you are as good as you are going to get."

When Peavy made his first comeback attempt from his unique surgery last spring, there also was talk about him feeling good before his arm just didn't bounce back like he wanted near the end of Spring Training. The difference one year makes is huge for the veteran hurler.

"Oh, no doubt about it," Peavy said. "Yeah, it's fun to go play catch. It's fun to throw. You are not worried about anything. ... It's a different feeling than I've had the past few years."

"For me, you're looking for a little twinge, facial expression, something that you can see something's going wrong," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "But velocity and everything, he's looking great."