PHOENIX -- Pitcher Joe Wieland, who is recovering from right elbow surgery in March, was in the clubhouse on Wednesday afternoon mingling with his teammates.
More than that, though, Wieland was at Chase Field to test his elbow with a session of playing catch at 105 feet. He'll progress to 120 feet next week, then 135 feet and 150 feet.
And after that?
"Hopefully the middle of next month, I'll be able to start my [Minor League] rehab assignment," Wieland said.
Wieland was nearly to the point where he was back from Tommy John surgery on July 27, 2012, when he felt soreness in his right elbow during Spring Training. He had the elbow examined by a doctor which led to surgery that repaired an impingement and removed loose bodies in the elbow.
Wieland has been working out and rehabilitating his elbow at the team's Spring Training facility in Peoria since. Better still, he's optimistic about getting in games next month.
"One-hundred percent ... it feels like my old, TJ-free elbow," Wieland said.
For as eager as Wieland is to get in a game again, he's taking the patient approach to his rehabilitation -- which isn't always easy.
"It's patience," he said. "The way I've looked at it is when I'm ready, God will let me know when I'm ready. We'll go from there."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.