Another successful session for Schilling

Another successful session for Schilling

DETROIT -- The second side throwing session in Curt Schilling's return from a right shoulder injury went as well as the first, and he will perform a similar session on Saturday before Boston's game with Minnesota.

Just like on Tuesday, the 41-year-old Schilling, currently on the 60-day disabled list, threw 25 pitches from 60 feet to pitching coach John Farrell under the watchful eye of assistant trainer Mike Reinold at Comerica Park. Thursday's results did not differ from Tuesday's, there was only the same pain-free throwing motion.

"Another good step," Schilling said afterward.

Schilling will perform his strength and conditioning program on Friday, then execute 25 to 30 throws from 60 feet before Saturday's game at the Metrodome. Assuming all goes well, he will move back 15 feet in his next session, and 15 more feet after that.

For Schilling, Thursday was the second small step in a long recuperation. There is no timetable set for his return, since he has yet to begin a throwing program consisting of long-toss, bullpen work, batting practice, throwing in simulated games and, eventually, a Minor League rehab assignment.

Though not thrilled with how long his return could take, Schilling understands that he must take every step in order to fully recover.

"It's hard for him," manager Terry Francona said. "He wants to be 24 years old again, and I don't know if that's going to happen his second time out there."

Schilling's side session on Tuesday was the first time he threw a ball since first experiencing shoulder pain in January. He received a cortisone shot in his right shoulder in February and has since been undergoing an intense strength and conditioning program with Reinold.

After signing an $8 million, one-year contract with the Red Sox last fall, he said in February that he would miss significant time.

Schilling, who owns the highest winning percentage in postseason history, has not started a game since winning Game 2 of last year's World Series. He went 9-8 last year with a 3.87 ERA in 24 starts before missing six weeks with a shoulder problem.

Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.