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Article updated: 3/22/2011 9:57 PM

Peavy could return in May

By Scot Gregor

Forget about questioning Jake Peavy for possibly rushing back too soon from major surgery.

What's done is done, and the White Sox' $16 million starting pitcher is out indefinitely with rotator cuff tendinitis after throwing 83 pitches in a Cactus League start against the Athletics on Saturday.

The only question that matters now is this -- when is Peavy going to be ready to return to the mound?

According to Dr. Tony Romeo, who performed the radical surgery to repair Peavy's detached latissimus muscle at Rush University Medical Center last July 14, don't expect the right-hander to be on the mound in April.

"I think we know how competitive Jake is and he still wants to be able to play from the beginning of the season," Romeo said in a phone interview Monday night. "But as I said last year after the surgery, when there is any type of tendon injury around the shoulder, the return is going to be close to one year."

That doesn't mean Peavy is going to be out until July.

"If he came back in June or July at 100 percent, that would be an outstanding recovery," Romeo said. "But even with the setback he just had, I've been impressed with the way he's come back from the surgery.

"I could see him pitching with the White Sox at the beginning of May."

If that happens, Peavy would miss his first five starts -- with Phil Humber filling his slot -- and possibly debut against the Orioles on May 2 at U.S. Cellular Field.

According to Romeo, who is flying to Glendale, Ariz., Tuesday morning to personally examine Peavy, that's the best-case scenario.

And the worst-case?

"That would be Jake having to live with the fact that he's a year out from the surgery and is still not able to throw the ball well enough to pitch," Romeo said.

Romeo is not expecting Peavy to be sidelined the entire season, and he even thinks a June return would be considered a successful recovery.

As for throwing 83 pitches on Saturday, the surgeon said that was pushing it but the extended outing was necessary.

"He did so well coming into spring training, and I think people got excited," Romeo said. "And I think if Jake was only throwing 40 pitches every outing, people would still be excited. But the fact of the matter is, he had to test it at some point in spring because you can't go into the season not being able to throw at least 60 pitches."

According to reports out of the Sox' training camp, Peavy did some light throwing from 30-40 feet Monday and "felt better than I did a couple days ago."

Romeo said Peavy's rotator cuff showed some normal wear and tear during last July's surgery.

"It bothered him a little when he started throwing (in November)," Romeo said. "But he went to camp with little or no symptoms in the rotator cuff."

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