Erickson throws, but says little

First tossing since surgery is `feeling out' process

March 18, 2000|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Scott Erickson threw in the outfield for 10 minutes yesterday. There will be little further comment.

Therein could be found Erickson's appraisal following the most-anticipated side session of spring training. Two weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery for the removal of bone chips from his elbow, Erickson paired off with center fielder Brady Anderson and threw from about 60 feet. The session didn't require supervision from pitching coach Sammy Ellis, manager Mike Hargrove or vice president of baseball operations Syd Thrift. Nor apparently did it require any assessment from Erickson.

"I have no comment," he said.

Erickson later grudgingly added that the situation is "day-to-day" and didn't necessitate a detailed review.

"There's really nothing to say," said Erickson, who hadn't thrown since attempting to warm for a Feb. 29 intrasquad game. "I'm feeling it out."

Erickson impressed Anderson with his range of motion and unforced velocity. "Scotty's remarkable," said Anderson, who dressed for the first time since sustaining a nerve injury in his left leg while icing it March 11. "I was shocked how he was able to throw. He has no fear no reservations about it."

Erickson and Anderson conducted their impromptu session near the right-field corner while the remainder of the club worked on back fields. Orioles head trainer Richie Bancells joined the duo after about 10 minutes, suggesting the pitcher not further extend himself his first time out.

"He's progressing well and has hit all his goals so far," said Hargrove.

Hours later Erickson softened his media blackout, if only to say he remains uncertain about anything beyond the present. The staff workhorse finds himself in strange territory as he confronts the most serious injury of his 11-year major-league career. Relieved at again being able to straighten the arm, Erickson said he is unsure when he will throw next.

"I don't know what's going to happen. The club doesn't know about my elbow. I really don't know about my elbow. That's why it's pointless to really say anything right now. Nobody knows. When I'm able to pitch, I'll pitch," he said.

The club has projected a May 1 return for Erickson but is unwilling to say whether that means his return to the major-league club or merely his ability to undertake a rehab assignment.

Hargrove was unable to say when Erickson might attempt to throw from a mound except to say "it's down the road still." The club initially estimated Erickson's recovery at six to eight weeks.

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