Bailey 'taking a step back' in TJ rehab program

Shut down with arm irritation April 26, Reds righty resumes throwing with uncertain timetable

Bailey 'taking a step back' in TJ rehab program

CINCINNATI -- The Reds and Homer Bailey had originally planned that the right-hander would be back pitching again, about one year after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Not only has that not happened, but Bailey is no longer viewed as close to returning after his recent setback.

"I would say that, right now, we're taking a step back to not rush anything, simply to have some precaution," Bailey said on Wednesday.

Bailey experienced some irritation in the back of his arm and was shut down following his April 26 rehab assignment start for Double-A Pensacola. He recently got a second opinion and was cleared to resume throwing.

"We took 10 days off of throwing, and anyone who throws a lot knows that's a long [darn] time not to throw," Bailey said. "We're almost having to build pretty significantly all the way up."

After he had Tommy John surgery on May 8, 2015, Bailey experienced no setbacks at all until the one in Pensacola.

While being so close to the end of his rehab, Bailey isn't concerned that he had a setback. He remains upbeat despite a changed timetable.

"I think they said it's more uncommon that I didn't have [a setback] as opposed to having one," Bailey said. "We're a little over a year out, and that's pretty quick to come back. We're going to take our time and do this thing right. It's kind of the same thing I've said all along. You don't want to do it again, obviously.

"One of the things that was brought to my attention was, there's a lot of research about guys who come back at the 12-month mark have a higher probability of it happening again, as opposed to maybe 14 months, then the numbers are pretty skewed."

There is no current timetable for Bailey to resume pitching from a mound. A new rehab assignment isn't likely for at least one month.

"I don't see it happening anytime soon, not because I feel anything, but more because I have to build all the way back up," Bailey said. "That may come back quicker, it may come up later."

Bailey played catch once last week and threw again on Tuesday.

"We were 110-120 feet out and everything was nice and clean," he said. "I wanted to get out today just to see how it responded -- I feel great, but they said to wait a little bit."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.