Stroman throws off mound for 1st time post-injury

Gibbons not ruling out using righty as starter upon his return

Stroman throws off mound for 1st time post-injury

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays aren't ruling out using Marcus Stroman as a starter if he returns to the big leagues this season. The injured right-hander, who's on the 60-day disabled list with a torn ACL, threw off a mound in Dunedin, Fla., on Tuesday for the first time since he injured his left knee during Spring Training. And by all accounts, he looked good, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

"I don't know how long he threw, or how many pitches, but watching the video, you wouldn't think anything's wrong with the kid," Gibbons said.

Although a timetable for Stroman's return to the Blue Jays has not been set, Gibbons said the 24-year-old is expected throw in simulated games later this month. The club had previously set a tentative rehab assignment date for Aug. 21.

In a radio interview Tuesday, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Stroman would stretch out as a starter, though that doesn't necessarily mean he'll join the rotation upon return.

While he wasn't sure if Stroman would have enough time to build his arm up to starter's form, Gibbons didn't rule it out.

"It might be a little far-fetched, but I don't want to say no," Gibbons said.

Stroman on had Monday received clearance from Dr. James Andrews to commence throwing after months of rehabilitation at Duke University, where he was completing his degree during summer session.

It was originally thought that the injury would keep Stroman out for the entire 2015 season, though he maintained all along he'd make a return sooner than that.

"I thought it was one that would take him through the year, he'd heal up and be good as new next year," Gibbons said. "But he's young, he's definitely healed quicker than older guys. And there's something different about Stro."

No matter what role he'd assume, a Stroman return would be a big boost to the Blue Jays. Stroman put up a 10-6 record with a 3.29 ERA as a starter after a forgettable stint in the bullpen in 2014. He was on track to be a front-of-the-rotation presence for the Blue Jays before his knee injury in March.

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.