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2011 Spring Training: Vicente Padilla Looking To Return To Dodgers In Two Months

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost both games today to open their spring schedule, one to the Angels and another to the Giants, but it's hard to take such losses hard during spring training. If those losses were bad news, the Dodgers did get some good news, in that Vicente Padilla appears anxious to get back on the mound after undergoing elbow surgery on Thursday. Padilla arrived back in Arizona Friday night, and was in camp today, outlining his comeback plan, per Ken Gurnick of

In a best-case scenario, Padilla will need three to four weeks before he resumes throwing, then would need the month of April to essentially go through Spring Training and rebuild arm strength with bullpen sessions and a Minor League rehab assignment.

Because he is being viewed as a reliever, Padilla's rehab will be shorter than that of a starting pitcher.

If Padilla can start throwing by the end of March, the idea is for him to get back to the Dodgers by the beginning of May, which seems remarkable given that initial fears were that Padilla would be out for as much as half the season if not the entire season. Padilla missed two months last season with an irritated ulnar nerve in his elbow, a similar injury, but he said the pain felt last week wasn't as bad as last year, which is a good sign.

The Dodgers face the Angels again on Sunday, but this time the Dodgers are the host, at Camelback Ranch in Glendale. John Ely will start for the Dodgers, and be followed on the mound by Blake Hawksworth, Mike MacDougal, Ramon Troncoso, Kenley Jansen, and Jon Link. Scott Kazmir will start for the Angels. The game will be televised on Prime Ticket and MLB Network.

For more information on Vicente Padilla, be sure to read True Blue LA