Lindstrom looking to pitch in games next week

Lindstrom looking to pitch in games next week

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Matt Lindstrom has yet to pitch in a Cactus League contest after being scratched from the opening game because of a left oblique strain. But he's getting closer.

The right-hander had what White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper termed "a nice little sideline" on Thursday, and after a day off Friday, will throw another sideline Saturday. Lindstrom could then be ready for a game by Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

"We are not done yet," said Cooper of Lindstrom's return. "We have another sideline, but it's certainly pointed in a good direction."

"I was excited that I could get downhill and throw my pitches for strikes," Lindstrom said. "I was anticipating it maybe not going as well as it actually did because I haven't been off the mound for a week or so. I wouldn't say surprised that I was throwing a lot of strikes, but I'm happy with the way it went."

Lindstrom was supposed to throw a bulpen session last Tuesday but never made it to the mound after aggravating the injury while playing long toss. He felt much better Thursday, operating at about 80 percent.

There was no need for Lindstrom to go all out in his first real injury test. But Saturday's throwing session will be ramped up a bit.

"Today, he found the lower gear just to get the work in and take it out for a test run, and everything works," Cooper said. "Next time, we'll probably go with a little heavier workload, a few more pitches and maybe get after it a little bit more. And then we will see where we are at."

"I'm confident in my ability to throw strikes, but that adrenaline, when you get on the mound facing other teams, it gets kicked up a notch and then you have to be able go 100 percent," Lindstrom said. "Hopefully, two, three or four [games]. I would have liked to have had a normal Spring Training, but things happen."

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.