Wilson optimistic about early 2013 return

Wilson optimistic about early 2013 return

Wilson optimistic about early 2013 return
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants right-hander Brian Wilson called himself ahead of schedule Wednesday in his recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery and insisted that he'll be ready to close out a Giants victory on Opening Day 2013.

"Unless someone throws a complete game, which would be pretty sweet, too," said Wilson, who preceded a workout on a stationary bicycle by meeting with reporters for about 20 minutes. "I don't imagine doing any rehab starts. I'll be here for Spring Training. Throw my 12, 13 innings probably. I'll be here Day One."

Wilson said that he has progressed from range-of-motion exercises to stretching and working on his forearms. His spin on the bicycle marked the beginning of his conditioning program.

The three-time All-Star emphasized the importance of remaining upbeat and admitted that this is something of a chore.

"But the longer you work at it, the easier it is," Wilson said. "... Because the more negative things you think about, it just infests your brain, and it takes a downward spiral from there. And that's the No. 1 part of healing: You need to be positive, and I have steps -- I have to go through rehab, I've got to be a great teammate, I don't want to be walking around all glum, like woe is me. I'm not the only guy in here. My role is not to close anymore, it's to be a teammate for the younger guys and to show the community that I'm still here. I'm not going anywhere; it's just my role's different."

Asked if he ever trims his famed beard, Wilson replied, "I will not trim it at all during this process."

Will he still be wearing his beard when he returns to pitching?

"Yeah, well, I'm returning," Wilson said.