Chicago White Sox SP John Danks Will Return to Team Soon as Spectator

Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks is progressing nicely in his rehabilitation process. The left-hander should be able to return to the team soon, but only as a spectator at first.

Danks underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery last season that ended his 2012 campaign. After his velocity was nowhere near where it should have been this spring, he began the year on the disabled list. The 28-year-old imploded during Spring Training with a 16.36 earned run average and a .458 opponent batting average in four starts. Since he was unable to prove himself, Dylan Axelrod got the nod in the starting rotation.

The good news is Danks’ velocity continues to increase during his starts in extended spring games. He was most recently seen throwing as fast as 89 miles per hour in Monday’s contest. The fact that he was also able to go six innings on top of that is very promising.

“He threw fine, it’s a positive report,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura told White Sox.com. “People that have seen him are having positive reports. He’s just feeling stronger and it’s probably coming out of his hand a little better.”

The White Sox are still unsure how they are going to utilize Danks on their pitching staff, but the good news for them is that they have some time to think about it. Danks still needs more time to build up his shoulder strength, but that does not mean he will not be around the clubhouse.

“He’ll probably just come up and work out,” Ventura said, according to White Sox.com. “I think it’s important for him to come and still be a part of us. It’s good for our guys to be around him, too.”

Danks was 3-4 with a 5.70 ERA and 30 strikeouts in nine starts last season before undergoing season-ending surgery.

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