Luebke nearing important hurdle in rehab

Luebke nearing important hurdle in rehab

SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Cory Luebke, on the disabled list since April after having Tommy John surgery, is nearing an important step in his rehabilitation from season-ending surgery to his left elbow.

Luebke, 11 weeks removed from surgery, will begin a strength program next week that is designed to build upper-body strength, including in the elbow itself.

"We're to the point now where we're starting to get a little more aggressive with the strength stuff," Luebke said. "Up to now, we've done a lot of the same stuff. But in the 12th week is where you begin working your upper body and elbow."

Up to this point, Luebke has done a lot of mobility exercises and stretching. He's encouraged that his elbow mobility is where it should be. Now comes another chapter in his rehabilitation.

"The next step is where you start to crank it up," he said. "But so far, everything has gone well."

At the time of his injury, Luebke was 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA in five starts. He threw his last pitch on April 27 against the Giants. He'll likely miss the first half of the 2013 season.