Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price could return to the rotation by the end of May, provided he continues to feel good in his recovery from a strained left elbow.
Sidelined since spring training, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner has been throwing well in simulated games. Red Sox manager John Farrell said over the weekend that Price's next simulated session, scheduled for Tuesday, would ideally be the left-hander's last before beginning a minor league rehab assignment.
"At that point, provided he continues to feel as he's doing, we'd look at a game after that," Farrell said, adding that he thinks Price could work up to four innings in his first outing.
Price could make that first rehab appearance as early as this weekend, and Farrell said the pitcher would make "more than a couple of starts" before returning to the Red Sox. If all goes well, he could potentially rejoin the team for a series against the Chicago White Sox at the end of the month.
In the meantime, Farrell said Price has been treating the simulated sessions "as a game day."
"His work days have been very good," Farrell said.
Red Sox teammate Chris Young said he took a few at-bats against Price in simulated-game situations.
"He's in game mode," Young said. "He's not just up there getting work in. He's in game mode and that makes me get in game mode and it helps us both out."
Price signed a $217 million, seven-year contract with the Red Sox as a free agent before last season. He went 17-9 with a 3.99 ERA during his first year in Boston, throwing a major league-high 230 innings in 35 starts.