Cobb begins road back from Tommy John surgery

Cobb begins road back from Tommy John surgery

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Cobb played catch Saturday for the first time since undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Everything well went well for the Rays right-hander, who said he visited Dr. James Andrews on Monday to receive clearance to begin activity.

Expected to be the Rays' Opening Day starter, Cobb did not pitch in a game this season after first experiencing forearm tightness in Spring Training, which percolated into surgery on May 13.

Cobb threw 20 tosses on flat ground with head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield on Saturday. Afterward, Cobb said he does not know what plan he will follow going forward, other than to say he expects to throw every two days.

Cobb will head back to Arizona, where he plans to continue his rehab program until he returns to the St. Petersburg area in mid-January.

If all goes well with Cobb's rehab, he should return to the Rays' rotation by August. But as Rays fans learned watching Matt Moore pitch this season after Tommy John surgery, the rehab is not an exact science. Cobb did say that it has been helpful to be able to pick Moore's brain about the process.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.