PHOENIX -- Being patient with the healing process of his strained left oblique has been a challenge for D-backs right-hander Zack Greinke, who said "frustrating" was the perfect word to describe his feelings.
"It'd have been nice to be back a week ago," Greinke said.
Greinke planned to throw lightly off a mound Wednesday morning, just to get a feel for the slope again. He's been a bit delayed in his recovery, because anytime the oblique did not feel 100 percent, the club was quick to shut him down so he didn't make the injury worse.
"Yesterday was the first day I threw where I was close to throwing normal," Greinke said. "Every other time was really babying everything. It took a lot more time; it's just a bad injury where you have to wait for it to heal before doing stuff. I'm just used to having stuff bothering you all the time and just going through it, but with this one, you can't do that or else it gets worse."
Greinke acknowledged that he will need a rehab start before being activated, so that all but rules him out for next Monday or Tuesday when the D-backs will need a starter.
"We'll be careful," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "He's the smartest guy I've been around in baseball, he knows his own body as good as anybody, and he knows what it takes to be ready for a Major League game, so we'll lean on him a little bit."
Greinke has tried to make the most of his time on the DL by talking with some of the other D-backs pitchers about what he's seen from them.
"When you're pitching, it's tough to focus on anything but your pitching, and right now I have a lot of extra time, so I've been watching the game more closely and watching everything more closely," he said. "So I have more educated opinions than in a regular situation when I'm not as able to pay as much attention to what's going on."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.