Floyd knows there's no guarantee

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd, out for the season after having Tommy John surgery, said Sunday he is anxious to return one day soon, but has prepared himself for the possibility that he might never pitch the major leagues again.

Floyd, who had his elbow surgery a month ago in New York, was asked if he is optimistic since pitchers who have Tommy John surgery more often than not return to the mound.

“I just want to come back pain-free and come back to play baseball again,” Floyd said. “I realize that it could possibly come back not at a competitive level. There’s always that road too. It’s just one step at a time, enjoy my family and enjoy being here in Chicago.”

Even if he does return, there is a chance he never pitches for the White Sox again. He becomes a free agent in the offseason, but is in no hurry to calculate what happens next.

“I have to get healthy first,” Floyd said. “That comes with hard work, trying to do the rehab, doing all the stuff I need to do to get back to a healthy Gavin. Once that happens then we’ll see what happens then.”

Floyd, 30, is 70-70 with a 4.48 ERA over 199 major league appearances in 10 seasons, going 63-65 with a 4.22 ERA in his seven seasons with the White Sox. He was 0-4 this season with a 5.18 ERA when his season was cut short with his elbow injury.

Recovery from Tommy John surgery could take up to a year or, in some cases, even longer.

“Well, everybody heals differently,” Floyd said. “I’m praying for a faster recovery. I think (former White Sox pitcher) Jose Contreras had the same thing I had and he came back in 10½ months. It’s possible but I’m not going to hold everything to coming back that early. I’m just going to take it one step at a time, enjoy the moment, come here and hang out with the guys, enjoy them and support them.”