Niemann progressing, throws off mound

Niemann progressing, throws off mound

Niemann progressing, throws off mound
ST. PETERSBURG -- Jeff Niemann has been on the disabled list since fracturing his right fibula on May 14 in a game at Toronto.

The 6-foot-9 right-hander has been making steady progress toward returning to the team. On Saturday he threw from a mound for the first time since the injury happened.

Niemann seemed encouraged after throwing 25 pitches Saturday.

"It's more just being able to use my leg, my push-off leg and do it right," Niemann said. "It was good, great for the first day of real throwing."

Niemann said he still has some inflammation in the leg, which causes some discomfort, but he does not believe that discomfort will affect him. He said he is still getting to a point where he can trust his leg.

"I was probably 50 to 75 percent today push-off-wise," Niemann said. "It was Day 1 today, too. So it was just get back out there and see how it feels. It felt good, so we definitely got more aggressive toward the end. So the next time we definitely know we can push it a little harder."

Niemann compared his schedule to being at the beginning of Spring Training.

"It's an aggressive schedule we're doing," Niemann said. "[The pitch numbers] are going to shoot up fairly quickly. ... It's more about finding my rhythm again and finding all that stuff."