Stauffer confident he'll return to mound this season

Stauffer confident he'll return to mound this season

SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Tim Stauffer, on the disabled list since May 15 with a strained right elbow, said that he's certain he'll pitch again this season.

"That's my every intention," he said.

Stauffer has been playing catch from 90 feet for the last week or so, a distance that he said will gradually increase over time.

"No problems so far," Stauffer said. "It's pretty basic so far. Hopefully, I will get stretched out, get on a mound and hopefully get in games sooner than later."

There's no timetable as to when Stauffer will appear in a game.

Stauffer was in line to start Opening Day until the final week of Spring Training when he first started to feel discomfort in his elbow. He started the season on the disabled list but was activated on May 14 in time for a start in Washington.

Stauffer experienced soreness in his elbow -- in his flexor tendon bundle -- late in that outing against the Nationals. He allowed four runs (three earned) in five innings in that game and eventually landed on the disabled list again on May 18, retroactive to May 15.

It was at that time when manager Bud Black said Stauffer was headed toward a "lengthy rest." But after two months of treatment, Stauffer is to the point where he's playing catch, the first step toward getting back on a mound.

"So far, so good," he said.