Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett was in a good mood Sunday. The rehabbing right-hander called his recovery from surgery to relieve numbness in his right arm a “best-case scenario.”
“There’s no reason for my shoulder not to be as strong as it’s been in 15 years,” Beckett said.
The Dodgers won’t get to find out for sure until spring training of next year.
Beckett said he will begin throwing from flat ground next week after he returns to his Texas home. After two weeks of throwing, Beckett plans to return to Los Angeles to meet with team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, then continue his rehab at a location to be determined.
By October, Beckett said, “I would like to get off the mound three times — not in a game, but bullpens.”
The goal at this point is simply to have a normal off-season. That means resting come October, beginning his usual throwing program in December, and arriving at spring training healthy and ready to pitch in 2014.
“That’s how December is going to be normal, if I start throwing now,” he said.
Beckett was bothered by recurring symptoms of tingling and numbness in his right hand this season. He went 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts before being shut down in April.
After trying unsuccessfully to return to the Dodgers without having surgery, Beckett was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. Next Wednesday will mark seven weeks since Beckett had surgery to remove a rib in July, a procedure that successfully alleviated pressure on the compressed nerves that led to the symptoms of numbness.
Beckett said he was passing benchmarks four weeks into his rehab that some patients don’t pass until the six-week mark.
“The nerve symptoms are gone,” he said. “The big test will be when I start pitching.”
Since that won’t happen in a game this season, Beckett said he’s content to sit and watch the Dodgers continue their run of success. The last time he pitched, the Dodgers were 15-22, last place in the National League West and 7 ½ games out of first place. They enter today’s game against the Boston Red Sox with a 9 ½ game cushion on the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks.
“It’s an exciting time to be a Dodger owner, a Dodger player, a Dodger DL player, a Dodger writer,” he said. “You guys should be excited.”