Hochevar recovery on schedule

Royals right-hander working to get back from Tommy John surgery

Hochevar recovery on schedule

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Luke Hochevar is right on schedule.

Hochevar, coming off Tommy John surgery last March, threw 35 pitches off the mound on Sunday, and threw roughly the same amount on Wednesday with no setbacks.

"Still feeling very strong," Hochevar said.

Hochevar, who is being counted on to supplement the Royals' vaunted trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland in the bullpen, said he mainly is throwing fastballs and change-ups.

"I probably won't be throwing any breaking balls until we get to live BP in a couple weeks," he said. "We're just taking everything very slowly, very cautiously."

Hochevar admits he still has a few reservations still about really cutting loose with the fastball.

"There's really no point right now," he said. "I'm not about to let [the fastball] eat right now. It's not necessary. I'm not thinking about velocity."

Hochevar expects to be ready by Opening Day.

"I'm hopeful," he said. "But if it's not the case and I have to start the season [in Triple-A] then that's OK. I don't want to have to rush things and then have something happen and wind up back at Triple-A anyway."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.