One man's disaster is another man's miracle.
Erik Bedard, the left-hander coming back from another shoulder surgery, was scheduled to throw off a mound Wednesday - a rather ambitious goal, given that he hadn't been on one since last July.
Not so fast, big guy.
Trainer Rick Griffin and the Mariners medical staff say Bedard won't climb that mound just yet, but insist it's not a physical setback in his effort to return to the Seattle rotation in May.
"He’s so far ahead of where he was supposed to be. He was 10 months to a year, and we're only at seven months," Griffin said. "He’s doing very well and is far ahead of what he’s supposed to be."
"What we're trying to do is make sure we don't have any setbacks."
For now, Bedard will continue to throw on flat ground. That, too, moves him closer to a return.
"There are a lot more forces when you throw on a downward plane. There’s a lot more stress on your shoulder," Griffin said.
"Flat ground simulates it a little bit in that you're throwing on a downward plane to a catcher in a squatting position. Two or three of those and you don’t have any problems, then you usually go on to the mound," he said. "Then you do that a couple of times and if there are no problems, you move to the next thing.
"There's a sequence of events you try to go through to make sure guys are OK."
Bedard was stoic about the whole thing. He'd never said he was going to throw from the mound—the team did—and one reason was simple.
"If I talk about the possibilities and they don't happen, it's viewed as a setback," Bedard said. "I'm just doing my work, every day. I feel great. Right now, it's all good, but that doesn't mean I can pitch yet."