Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who is on the disabled list with an irregular heartbeat, returned to the team clubhouse Monday and said he'll throw a bullpen session this week, and he seemed confident he would pitch again this season.
Jansen also said he was told there's a good chance he will need another heart surgery in the offseason, similar to the surgery he had in 2012. He was prescribed blood thinners in 2011.
Hospitalized in Denver on Thursday after experiencing an irregular heartbeat, Jensen was sent back to Los Angeles for tests. ESPN's Buster Olney reported that he was expected to miss about a month, but Jansen is eyeing a quicker return.
"I'm confident that it's not going to be four weeks, and it's not going to be six weeks," said Jansen, who has been given the OK to run. "[Aug. 20] is going to be the key to listen to what is going to happen. Right now I'm going to keep taking my blood thinners and hopefully there are no side effects from the medication I'm taking, and I am pretty confident I will be back sooner than later."
Manager Dave Roberts is also of the belief his closer will be back in less than a month.
"We're encouraged that it won't be the four to six weeks," Roberts said.
Jansen dealt with issues related to an irregular heartbeat in 2011 and 2012, and the three-time All-Star recognized something wasn't right Thursday as Los Angeles prepared for the opener of a four-game series at Colorado. He was sent back to L.A. and has been examined by a number of cardiologists, including some who have treated him in the past.
"It is a pre-existing condition," Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers' president of baseball operations, said Saturday. "The fact that he has experienced it before, we were able to catch it much earlier than he did in 2011 and 2012, which I think is real positive. He was able to catch it on the front end."
Jansen's 2012 incident also took place in the high altitude of Colorado, but the reliever said he's not concerned about returning to Coors Field in the future.
"I'm going back to Denver, man," Jansen said. "I'm going back. You can't be scared of life."
In 2012, doctors performed a catheter ablation on Jansen. They identified the abnormal tissue in the left atrium of Jansen's heart that was causing the irregular heartbeat and cauterized it to stop it from generating abnormal electrical signals. He had not had any significant problems since then.
Jansen is scheduled for a follow-up appointment with doctors on Aug. 20 and won't pitch before then. Friedman said he might resume some limited baseball activities next week to try to keep his arm in shape.
"I feel much better," Jansen said Monday. "Healthwise, everything feels good. The minute they shocked me back in, I felt better. I feel great just working out again."