Gausman hopes to return in mid-April

Right-hander will begin season on DL, could start as early as April 10

Gausman hopes to return in mid-April

Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman, who received a cortisone injection in his throwing shoulder on March 20 to treat his tendinitis, played catch from 90 feet on Monday and reported no ill effects.

"Everything feels great," said Gausman, who will begin the season on the disabled list with the same condition that required a trip to the DL last May. "I've played catch twice now."

The right-hander will throw from 120 feet Wednesday, followed by a day of rest on Thursday.

"Then, the plan is to throw a bullpen [session] on [Friday]," Gausman said. "If everything goes well after that, I'll probably throw another one, and I think the plan is for me to be ready 2 1/2 weeks into the season."

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Gausman, who went 4-7 in 25 appearances (17 starts) for the O's last year, wasn't surprised that he'd be unable to go at the start of the sesaon.

"I kinda saw this coming," he said. "Obviously, I didn't want to start the season on the DL, but it's good to get it fixed rather than go into the season worrying about something. [It's tough] going back to square one, having to work to get stretched back out, but I don't want to rush it and end up hurting myself again."

With Gausman's DL stint having been backdated to Saturday, he would be eligible to pitch for the Orioles on April 10, which is the first time the club would require a fifth starter.

Could that be a possibility?

"Maybe. It's all on how I feel," said Gausman. "I feel great right now, but if I get off the mound the first time and start to feel it again, obviously we'll re-evaluate after we get there … but to say that anything is out of the realm of possibility is unfair.

"My goal is the first couple of weeks of the season."

The plan right now is for Gausman to remain in Florida to work out at extended spring camp, which starts on April 5.

"I'll probably pitch one of the first couple of days in a game, and then see how I feel and go from there," Gausman said.

Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.