Kelly continues to make encouraging progress

Kelly continues to make encouraging progress

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres continue to be encouraged by the progress that pitcher Casey Kelly is making during his road back from Tommy John surgery.

Kelly, who had reconstructive elbow surgery on April 2, 2013, threw his fifth bullpen session Sunday, throwing 50 pitches at what he estimated was 90 percent.

"I'm excited," he said. "I feel good. ... And it feels good to go out there and throw all of my pitches."

Kelly, after not pitching last season, said his secondary pitches are a little rusty at this point, which is certainly understandable.

Manager Bud Black said that when Kelly is cleared to move on from bullpen sessions, he'll advance to throwing to live hitters on the field or a simulated game. There's no timetable for when he'll be ready to pitch in a real game, though he's been eying a return in April.

"He's hit every mark," Black said. "[Facing live hitters is] the next progression. It's getting closer."

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.