Opinion

Kris Medlen plans to start pitching in rehab outings by May

Royals pitcher Kris Medlen took part in spring training drills during February in Surprise, Ariz.
Royals pitcher Kris Medlen took part in spring training drills during February in Surprise, Ariz. The Kansas City Star

As he recovers from his second Tommy John surgery, Kris Medlen intends to take one more road trip with the Royals before departing for rehab stints in Arizona next month.

Medlen told The Star on Sunday morning he will leave the team to pitch in more competitive outings in either the first or second week of May.

Medlen completed a 35-pitch bullpen session on Saturday afternoon. He threw a curveball off the mound for the first time since his surgery.

"It’s jumping out of my hand," Medlen said. "It feels good. Locating, moving spots, throwing all my pitches. So it feels really good."

Manager Ned Yost has estimated Medlen could be ready to contribute in major-league game by June. Members of the front office have offered more conservative projections, with Medlen returning to action after the All Star break.

The Royals have not determined an exact role for Medlen upon his return. His assignment depends on the status of the club’s rotation and his own health. Medlen succeeded as both a reliever and a starter in Atlanta.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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