Price 'felt good' after first BP since March 2

Price 'felt good' after first BP since March 2

DETROIT -- David Price took a key step in his comeback on Monday by throwing his first side session since being shut down with a left elbow strain on March 2.

The lefty had done some touch-and-feel work off the mound in recent days, but not to a catcher.

If Price has a normal recovery from Monday's 20-pitch session, he'll throw another bullpen session on Wednesday, then go on a progression that will eventually lead to a Minor League rehab assignment.

"It felt good. Felt good getting back out there on the mound, throwing to a catcher this time. Steps in the right direction," Price said. "I wanted to have a productive day today, but I want to feel good tomorrow. It's kind of like Spring Training all over again."

Dombrowski on Price's importance

Considering that pitchers typically need about a six-week progression of Spring Training to be ready for the season, late May could be a reasonable estimate for Price's return.

But the Red Sox are being careful not to attach Price to a timetable at this point. Instead, they will gauge how he feels on a daily basis and go from there.

"Felt like the ball got out of his hand in good fashion today, for today being the first bullpen," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "It's hard to project right now when he would have a sim game, but also when a rehab assignment would begin, or how many starts needed.

"While we have some tentative plans for that progression, we're probably responding or addressing this as David responds to the work sessions. Thus far, it's been good."

At this point, Price is encouraged by the way his rehab is going.

"It felt good," Price said. "It feels really good right now. So everything that's happened the past couple weeks has all been good for my confidence and just the mental aspect of it, so it all feels good."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.