Norton Pretty Close To Ready

Tim Norton will face batters soon

Tim Norton last pitched in a game on April 26th of 2007 with the Charleston Riverdogs, nearly a year and a half ago. Rehabbing his way back from shoulder surgery this year, the former Connecticut Huskie hurler is right on track to make a full return to the mound next season.

"I just threw my last bullpen, fastball-changeup," Tim Norton revealed. [This] week I'll throw fastball-slider-changeup.

"I feel good, I feel fine. The shoulder's coming along. I think I've got another gear in there somewhere but it feels pretty good, I'm happy with it right now."

Team officials are very encouraged with his rehab, some even noting that the power he once had in his arm is still there.

"It's really, really close," he said, "as far as how strong my arm is. I'm not too far away. I don't think I'm too far away from where I was before. I think I'm going to be just fine in that department."

The goal prior to the start of the 2008 season was to get healthy enough by season's end to possibly see some game action in one of the winter leagues, but both Norton and the Yankees have decided to err on the side of caution in his comeback bid.

The current track has him throwing bullpen sessions for two more weeks before finally facing some live batters in batting practice, then he will take some much needed time off in preparation for a full return in 2009.

"I'll see two [live] BP's and then I'll have my offseason. I recovered just in time to face two BP's and then end the season to take a break," he said with a light-hearted chuckle.

"We've talked about it but we feel it's best to take some time off before I start throwing again in December. I'll take about two months off."

He admits it has been tough rehabbing all season long in Tampa while watching others play injury-free, but he also knows the importance of resisting the temptation to push it too much.

Close to finally finishing up his long rehab process in the coming weeks, Norton is simply looking forward to pitching without the shoulder being an issue in the back of his mind.

"I don't want to have to come in thinking about the injury," he said of his goals for Spring Training next year. "I want to be 100 percent when I come back and I want to make an impact. I want to pitch well and I want to make some moves. I'll be ready to go.

"I think I should come back in shape and ready to go. I don't think my shoulder will be any part of it anymore. I'll be ready to pitch. If I perform or not, I'll be ready to pitch."

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

Become an annual subscriber today! Recommended Stories

Up Next