Bailey nearly ready for mound work in recovery from surgery

Bailey nearly ready for mound work in recovery from surgery

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds right-hander Homer Bailey is continuing to make solid progress with his rehabilitation from surgery and could be working off a mound soon.

Bailey, who had surgery Sept. 5 to repair a torn flexor mass tendon near his right elbow, came to camp slightly behind from where he would have been after a typical offseason.

"We've actually got a throwing protocol in place. We've earmarked a date for his first bullpen, which we'll wait to announce," Reds manager Bryan Price said Wednesday. "He hasn't had any setbacks. We anticipate seeing him on the mound the next several days. He'll be on the mound, and if everything goes well with that, he'll follow a bullpen protocol that will eventually lead to live batting practice, and that will lead to his first Spring Training game."

Bailey, slated to be Cincinnati's No. 2 starter in the rotation, has been long-tossing and pitching from flat ground. His readiness for Opening Day remains a question mark. A report by The Associated Press said the Reds expected Bailey to begin the season on the disabled list. However, Price and general manager Walt Jocketty denied that it was accurate and said no such decision has been made.

"He's well on his way, and we have complete faith he'll be able to go at some point in time fairly early in the season," Price said. "I don't know if it's going to be Opening Day, but I don't imagine we'll be talking about May, either."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.