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John Danks' velocity issues continue

CHICAGO -- The timeline for a return to the Chicago White Sox for rehabbing pitcher John Danks remains unclear at this point.

Danks has not regained his velocity this spring after undergoing major shoulder repairs to his left pitching arm last August in a surgery that a source said has only been performed once before on a major league pitcher (Johan Santana).

Danks threw 77 pitches in a minor league scrimmage in Arizona on Thursday and pitching coach Don Cooper said he reached 87 to 88 mph in his outing. On his previous start on March 24, Danks’ velocity topped out at 86 and he allowed three homers while struggling with his command.

“It is going to be a start-by-start thing.” Cooper said. “Obviously we all saw what we saw the last time we saw him pitch in Arizona. He has some work to do and a climb ahead of him.”

Santana ended up having a second surgery and is out for the season. Danks’ operation repaired a capsular tear and minor debridement under the arm pit that attaches to the biceps.

The White Sox have no idea if or when Danks, who consistently averaged 92-93 mph when he was healthy, will regain full strength or velocity.

“Things appear to be coming for him a bit.” Cooper said. “When that is? I don’t think anyone has an answer to that.”

Danks will have five days in between starts and pitch in minor league camp again on April 9.