CHICAGO -- Nate Jones has a very simple first goal a few days removed from a Monday microdiscectomy at Rush University Medical Center to relieve pain in his lower back.
"Our first target is becoming a normal person, twisting and bending, stuff like that," said Jones in his first clubhouse appearance since the out-patient procedure. "We are shooting for the earliest which is four weeks, since they didn't have to take any bone or anything like that out. I was very thankful of that. We are going to shoot for four weeks."
After that four-week period, Jones will have to go through a modified Spring Training program to build up his arm strength.
"I would assume so because I lost quite a bit, almost a whole month, of us trying to figure out what was going on," Jones said. "I would assume it will be a kind of Spring Training thing."
Jones went from glute pain during Spring Training to hip and back pain in-season. But he fully expects to pitch again during the 2014 season.
"I'm not frustrated at all," Jones said. "I was relaying information to them and they were using that information trying to diagnose what it was. So we knocked everything out one by one by one and finally figured out what it was with my back. After surgery, I'm not feeling any pain in my hip. It's a great relief."
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.