NEW YORK -- The stories of side sessions for injured Tigers pitchers might seem endless. For Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya, it might be the best sign yet that the end of their injury rehabs is at least in sight.
Both of Detroit's would-be setup men threw six-minute sessions off of a mound on Thursday afternoon at the team's Spring Training complex, and both felt fine. For Zumaya, it was his first intense mound work since undergoing right shoulder surgery last fall, and he was accordingly limited to fastballs and changeups.
Rodney's session was his first since orthopedist Dr. James Andrews found no structural damage in his sore right shoulder. The mound has been the stage where his previous comeback efforts this spring went awry, but unlike his previous sessions, Rodney felt no soreness this time. Just as important, he found a comfortable pitching motion that he could take into a game.
"He felt this was his best bullpen session to date," Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. "He felt his delivery was close to his normal delivery."
Assuming both of them feel fine on Friday, they'll throw their next bullpen sessions this weekend. Zumaya is scheduled to throw on Saturday. Rodney will throw either Saturday or Sunday, depending on how he feels.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.