Danks expects to make one more rehab start

NEW YORK -- Injured Chicago White Sox starter John Danks (shoulder) said Wednesday he will make at least one more start for Triple-A Charlotte before returning to the team.

Danks threw five innings of two-run ball for Charlotte on Tuesday, striking out four but walking five over 92 pitches.

White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said he was encouraged by Danks' start and there are some things to iron out, but a return could be imminent. Cooper believes Danks' next start would be Sunday. Tuesday marked Danks' second rehab start as he prepares to return from left shoulder surgery.

"It was good. Again, he's throwing about what you'd think and he's healthy," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said before the White Sox faced the Mets Wednesday. "Everything has been positive, reports, wish he probably pitched better but as far as the stuff that you're looking at to see if he's healthy enough to come back, that stuff is getting better and better."

Danks said his stuff was a little bit better than it had been in his previous rehab start, as he had command of his cutter and changeup, but his control got away from him. He said it was frustrating to issue the five free passes Tuesday, but it's not something he's too concerned about. He yielded four hits.

"Just wasn't real sharp. Just one of those days where I was all over the place a little bit. And the weather was kind of (poor)," Danks told a pool reporter. "It was a good day, I got through it, threw all the pitches I wanted to. It was a positive day. Just continue to get feel for all my pitches. Just have to tighten the strings, put it all together."

Danks, who went 3-4 with a 5.70 ERA last season, heard he was throwing between 88-91 mph and he's getting closer to what he needs to be at. He said he feels healthy and everything continues to progress. Danks had surgery on Aug. 6, 2012, and last started on May 19, 2012.

"Dr. Romeo told me I probably won't feel 100 percent to where I was for close to a year," Danks said. "That could be next start, no one knows. But he warned me there will be days still where things are a little different still. But I'm feeling closer and closer to normal. Last night no pain, the ball was coming out good. Just wasn't throwing it where I wanted to throw it."

The lefty hopes he will be returning soon and believes it may be a good sign that White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was in attendance Tuesday night. He hasn't heard about any plans, other than pitching at least one more start in Triple-A with a second start being a possibility. He's aching to get back to Chicago to help a struggling 13-18 squad.

"Especially with some of the injuries we've had," Danks said. "Fortunately, we've pitched well, Hector (Santiago) and Dylan (Axelrod), that has taken a little of the pressure off but at the same time I want to be there. I'm tired of not being there. I want to be there. Whenever they're ready to have me back I'll be glad to be back."