Stroman cleared to begin throwing program

Stroman cleared to begin throwing program

TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman has been officially cleared to begin throwing, and it's looking increasingly likely that he will be able to start a rehab assignment later this month.

Stroman announced via Twitter on Monday afternoon that he received clearance from renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews earlier in the day. Stroman also said that he will throw off a mound at the Blue Jays' Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla., on Tuesday.

The Blue Jays previously announced that Stroman was tenatively scheduled to begin a rehab assignment on Aug. 21. Before that could happen, Stroman needed to pass a series of tests, and the news was all positive on Monday.

"Dr. Andrews was stunned by the progression of my knee," Stroman tweeted. "Shattering timetables. Shout [out] to my [Duke University] team!"

Stroman was originally expected to miss the entire season after undergoing knee surgery in March to repair a torn left ACL. He went back to school at Duke University to complete his degree, and he went through rehab with the Blue Devils' baseball program.

The 24-year-old was noticeably upbeat about his progress, but he still has some hurdles to overcome before he can get back to the big leagues. The Minor League regular season wraps up on Sept. 7, so Stroman won't have a lot of time to prove he can get back to a top level this year. A return is possible, though.

It's not immediately clear whether the Blue Jays intend to bring Stroman back as a starter or reliever. There's no question that his long-term future remains in the rotation, but he'll need to get stretched out rather quickly in order for that to happen in 2015.

Stroman has yet to appear in a game this season, but he was arguably Toronto's top starter in 2014. As a rookie, he went 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA while striking out 111 over 130 2/3 innings.

"Man, I killed myself these past three months to be in the position I am today," Stroman tweeted. "Two-a-day [workouts], six times a week for three months straight. Plus school!"

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.