Dice-K getting close to start throwing program

Dice-K getting close to start throwing program

ST. PETERSBURG -- Daisuke Matsuzaka took a break from the solitude of his rehab in Fort Myers, Fla., to visit with his teammates the past two days.

The right-hander, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in June, is nearing the point where he can start a throwing program.

"I was told if everything goes well I can start to throw 16 weeks from surgery," Matsuzaka said through interpreter Kenta Yamada.

It was about 13 weeks ago Matsuzaka had his surgery.

"I'm doing everything now except throwing," Matsuzaka said. "When I come to this point, I can picture myself throwing again. I can start to throw lightly, and I'm very much looking forward to the throwing program."

Matsuzaka will miss at least the first couple of months of 2012, and likely a bit longer.

He is doing what he can do to get through the monotony of rehab.

"When my family comes down to Fort Myers, I play with the kids in the pool, or go to the movies, watch a movie with the kids," Matsuzaka said. "I'm trying to have a moment to refresh from the repetitive rehabilitation."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.