Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish is nearing his anticipated return.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, the right-hander said he expects to be able to throw from a mound by next weekend.
Darvish, who has been on the disabled list since May 23 with right triceps tendinitis, was close to making his return to the lineup last month but suffered a setback in the bullpen on June 28 in Los Angeles and received a cortisone shot in his arm.
He has been playing catch every other day and could get back on the mound if he continues to progress without any further setbacks.
However, Darvish will consider the pain he felt in that bullpen session before pushing himself too far again.
"There was a lot of pain in [Los Angeles] before going on the DL," Darvish said through his interpreter. "So I've got that in mind. There's a little bit of scariness that's left in my mind."
"Instead of tolerating the pain and getting used to it, I think it's more important to prevent any of this happening in the future. In this rehab process there's a little bit of preventative [work]."
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer shared a similar sentiment, and is feeling optimistic about Darvish's comeback during the second half of the season.
"My sense is that he feels better and his arm is feeling good," Hoyer said. "Our hope is that after the [All-Star] break, he can ramp it up. I have no reason to be pessimistic."
Darvish, 31, has struggled in eight starts for Chicago this season, posting a 1-3 record with a 4.95 ERA while also dealing with two stints on the disabled list.
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