DETROIT -- While the Tigers readied for pregame batting practice Sunday in their quest to make the postseason, Anibal Sanchez retook the first step toward trying to contribute to it.
As head athletic trainer Kevin Rand admitted, it's a baby step. Still, when Sanchez played catch prior to batting practice Sunday afternoon, he made his first throws since his setback a week and a half ago scuttled plans for his return to the rotation and put his season in jeopardy.
"It's a positive step," manager Brad Ausmus said. "So, we'll see how he bounces back tomorrow. If he's good tomorrow, we'll probably ramp it up in a day."
Earlier Sunday, Sanchez said he felt good but hadn't thrown yet. The fact that he felt pain-free was the final step before being cleared to resume throwing.
From here on, the timetable will continue to go on how he feels.
"We're just going to progress as he can tolerate it," Rand said. "We'll just take it how it goes. It's too early to tell how he's going to progress at this point in time."
Considering Sanchez has missed four weeks and counting, even a best-case progression would seemingly take at least another couple of weeks. That's around the time that it took for him to progress from throwing to the verge of pitching, before the setback. That would put him on track for the final week of the regular season.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.