A day later, Danks sees good signs

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A day after his first throwing session before coaches and staff, Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks had nothing but positives to report.

"I was able to get through an upper body workout just now, so I guess that's a good sign," Danks said Friday morning. "I won't know until I go out there and throw for a while. So far, so good."

On Thursday, Danks had a 10-minute bullpen session where he threw mostly fastballs but did add some curveballs, changeups and cutters. Pitching coach Don Cooper said his first look at the left-hander since last season was better than expected. Danks missed most of last season with a shoulder injury that required surgery.

Feeling good enough just to do an upper-body workout was yet another positive on Danks' road to recovery.

"Yeah, that was one of the biggest problems before surgery was the ability to bounce back," Danks said. "It's just another level, being able to bounce back and fit in again."

There still is no timetable for Danks' return. He thinks he could be ready to join the rotation from the start of the season, but the White Sox are more concerned with his health than starting the season on time.

Danks' schedule this spring continues to be more deliberate than anybody else on the club.

"I'm just throwing and doing all the (pitcher's fielding practice) stuff with the guys," Danks said about his Friday routine. "I'll have a couple days off and throw another bullpen on Sunday. I'll get a couple days in between and there's no need to rush it. I'm feeling good."

Getting Danks back healthy will be a key for the Sox in 2013.

"It’s a big one. You want him to be healthy," manager Robin Ventura said. "He was our Opening Day starter last year not having him around was a big blow. Again, him getting healthy and doing the things you expect him to do are big for us."