CHICAGO -- For the first time since going on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain retroactive to June 30, White Sox reliever Jesse Crain threw off the mound prior to Tuesday's game with Detroit.
Crain, who was selected as a first-time All-Star by his peers, threw 33 pitches of just fastballs and changeups and said that he felt good after the session. He is scheduled to throw a side session on Thursday, and according to White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, Crain could return to game action as early as Sunday.
"His health is still our foremost thing in our mind to make sure he is well," said Cooper, adding they still have to work in offspeed pitches before Crain's return. "We want to do it to the point where he's maybe a tad fatigued, making sure you've got that good workout in and feel good before, during and after. Now we're waiting on the after, which is tomorrow."
"I'm just taking it day by day," said Crain before the throwing session. "I want to get back so I can get ready for the rest of the season."
There will be no Minor League rehab for Crain, who has a 0.74 ERA over 38 games, with 46 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings. A healthy Crain figures to be one of general manager Rick Hahn's best trade chips as the non-waiver Trade Deadline of July 31 approaches.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.