Taillon progressing in return from surgery

Pirates right-hander had procedure for testicular cancer May 8

Taillon progressing in return from surgery

ATLANTA -- After throwing a 25-pitch bullpen session Tuesday, Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to pitch off the mound again Thursday morning.

Providing his weekly update on Pittsburgh's injured and rehabbing players, head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said Taillon responded well to his first side session since undergoing surgery for testicular cancer on May 8.

"It was a quick turnaround," Taillon said Tuesday. "It was a week of no-throw, a week of build-up of throwing and then off the mound. It felt good."

While the Pirates will evaluate Taillon daily to determine his schedule, Tomczyk said Taillon is expected to increase his workload as part of his throwing program. He was cleared to throw Monday after undergoing blood tests.

"We will see how his body responds to the volume of work tomorrow, and then Friday plan accordingly," Tomczyk said. "We're not in the final phases, but we're preparing the body and arm again to compete."

Tomczyk said he spoke with a number of people in baseball, and experts outside the industry, about how to proceed. The consensus he gathered was that Taillon's rehabilitation, returning from a cancer diagnosis, simply cannot be compared to a more routine injury.

"This isn't like Tommy John. This isn't like an ACL. This isn't like a shoulder," Tomczyk said. "That's why it is day to day, week to week."

Polanco nearing return from DL

Tomczyk had further good news to report regarding right fielder Gregory Polanco, who is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday after being sidelined by a left hamstring strain. Polanco said Tuesday he is ready to return to the lineup soon, but he had another test to pass.

Polanco passed that test Wednesday, running the bases at SunTrust Park, and the last step is a meeting with manager Clint Hurdle and staff to determine when he will rejoin the Pirates.

"Early responses have been positive," Tomczyk said. "He feels really good right now."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Josh Lindblom (left side discomfort) has responded "better than we anticipated and expected," Tomczyk said. Lindblom threw a bullpen session Wednesday afternoon. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday.

• Lefty reliever Antonio Bastardo, out since April 25 with a left quad strain, threw an inning in an extended spring training game Tuesday. He is scheduled to pitch another inning Thursday. If he feels good after that, Tomczyk said, Bastardo could begin a Minor League rehab assignment soon.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.