Page last updated on Tue Mar 31 23:10:39 EDT 2015
Tue, 02 Oct 2012 02:30 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants right-hander Brian Wilson is booked to throw Oct. 19 for the 1st time since Tommy John surgery, and the always-confident closer insists he will be full strength by next year.

”I’d say that I am way ahead of the game,’ Wilson declared on the field before a workout. ”I don’t think that there would be any setbacks. I’ll be available opening day. I will be 100% at spring training. I don’t believe there will be any rehabilitation assignments.”

”Unfortunately, I did get hurt in April, but fortuitously I did get hurt in April. I have a whole year, so I would have regular spring training like everybody else,” he announced.

Wilson, the 2010 top saves leader with 48, spent his 3rd day on the field doing agility drills and light baseball work stopping balls rolled his way. Athletic trainer Dave Groeschner has to keep the active Wilson under control on occasions so the pitcher doesn’t do too much too soon.

He went through reconstructive elbow-ligament replacement surgery April 19; Wilson’s 2nd such process on his pitching elbow after also having it while in college at LSU in 2003. Doctor James Andrews performed both. He has missed the team’s run to its 2nd National League West title in 3 years.

”Coming back from Tommy John is 100% hard work. That’s all that it is,” Wilson claimed. ”That’s all I have ever known and that’s all I’ve ever done. For me, that’s easy.”

Manager Bruce Bochy claimed Wilson’s progress is encouraging and the pitcher has a good idea what it takes to recover. He probably did so in just 10 months last time for a surgery that usually takes a year to 18 months.

”He’s doing well. Willie’s working hard, he’s here each day going thru his rehab,” Bochy related. ”I know he’s excited about throwing here shortly. I know he is going to be excited about spring training, when he is going to be off the mound at some point. It’s good news. It’s the 2nd time for him, so he’s got a smart idea what he’s going through.”

Wilson recorded the last out in Game 5 of the 2010 World Series at Texas to clinch the franchise’s 1st championship since moving West in 1958. NFL odds

The 3-time All-Star complained of discomfort in the elbow April 13 and was sent for an MRI examination. Wilson threw 32 pitches at Colorado a day earlier while working on back-to-back days, and needed to be checked on once. Groeschner said Wilson felt something in the elbow that day, then told the team a day later.

Wilson finished 6-4 with a 3.11 ERA and 36 saves in 57 appearances last season, held out down the stretch for safety reasons. He had taken all of the crucial steps in his rehabilitation this spring, so the injury caught everybody by surprise.

Now, he wants to surprise everyone for how quick he heals and returns.

”It’ll be a year. I came back in 10 months my 1st time, so I already know what’s going on with the surgery,” Wilson recounted.

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