Diamond pushing to catch up as camp draws near

The Miami Herald—February 10, 2013

Many Twins pitchers and catchers are already in town in advance of Tuesday's reporting date, and many have been working out on sun-splashed fields at the Lee County Sports Complex.

Well, not that many worked out Sunday, to be honest. It's one of the last days of freedom before the seven-week progression to Opening Day begins.

But lefthander Scott Diamond got his work in Sunday because he's on a tight schedule.

Diamond is pushing to be ready by Opening Day after his offseason was derailed in December, when he needed surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow. The surgery was performed Dec. 18 in New York by Dr. David Altchek at Hospital for Special Surgery, and Diamond might not be ready to break camp with the rest of the team for the April 1 opener at Target Field.

That's not sitting well with Diamond.

"Normally I'm 100 percent (at this point)," Diamond said. "Obviously I'm not there right now. I'd say that where I am is like early- to mid-January so I'm not that far behind.

"If I have a little inflammation now and then, it is not a big deal. Like Dr. Altchek said, everything is structurally sound, and I'm actually excited to push a little bit and see how we do."

Diamond said he was working out when he felt a crack in his elbow, and a MRI confirmed the injury. The surgery pushed back his throwing schedule and knocked him out of the upcoming World Baseball Classic, where he was expected to pitch for Team Canada. The Twins announced at the time that he would be ready for the start of spring training, but that is now up in the air.

"Normally you'd like to see pitchers work their way up to 85, 90 pitches (by the end of camp)," Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said. "He's doing his throwing program, but if he's only going to be throwing 45 pitches or so, you will have to keep him down in Florida and give him more innings. We're not going to push it."

Diamond, understandably, is ready to push as hard as he can after receiving assurances from Altchek that his arm is fine. He's the most accomplished returning starter and has a shot to start on Opening Day.

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