TORONTO -- Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman threw off a mound Tuesday for the first time since tearing knee ligaments in spring training, the next step in a possible September return for the right-hander.
Stroman went 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 26 games, including 20 starts, in his rookie season last year, but hasn't pitched this season after tearing his left ACL during a preseason fielding drill.
After getting a clean bill of health Monday from sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews, Stroman threw off a mound Tuesday at the Blue Jays' spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida.
Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos told a Vancouver radio station Tuesday that the Blue Jays intend to try and bring Stroman back as a starter before the end of the season. Stroman is set to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Aug. 21.
Stroman's throwing session Tuesday came one day earlier than originally scheduled. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons watched a video of Stroman's workout and said he was impressed.
"He looked good," Gibbons said. "Just watching the video, you wouldn't think anything was wrong with the kid."
Stroman will throw again Friday.
Still, the Blue Jays will be careful to avoid any setbacks in Stroman's recovery.
"We can't get carried away," Gibbons said. "The kid's got a lot riding on his future."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.