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Danks eyeing return to White Sox

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 10:25 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — An upbeat John Danks said Wednesday he could be ready when White Sox pitchers and catchers report to spring training in early February.

“I’ve already had two throwing sessions,” said Danks, who wasn’t scheduled to start testing his surgically repaired left shoulder until Thursday.

“We did it so my schedule is lined up to throw off a mound after Jan. 1. So far, so good. It feels like I haven’t thrown in a while, but it’s a positive step.”

Danks, who had surgery Aug. 6 to repair a capsular tear and minor debris around his rotator cuff and biceps, said he made 20 throws from 45 feet and 15 tosses from 60 feet Monday and slightly increased his reps Wednesday in Austin, Texas.

Sox doctors designed his rehab program with input from trainer Herm Schneider and pitching coach Don Cooper and mapped out a plan leading up to spring training.

“My strength is back,” Danks said. “I just have to get my flexibility. I was in Chicago last week to see the doctors, and they were very pleased.”

Danks, 26, who was limited to nine starts and didn’t pitch after May 19, was “ecstatic” after learning Tuesday night that Jake Peavy re-signed and Gavin Floyd had his 2013 option picked up.

“Those are two big pieces of our rotation,” Danks said. “No one knew what was going to happen with them at the end of the season. I couldn’t be happier.”

Personally, Danks is determined to rejoin the staff by opening day, regardless of the fact the Sox currently have five starting pitchers — left-handers Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Hector Santiago plus Peavy and Floyd.

“Pitching every fifth day — that’s the job description of a starting pitcher,” Danks said. “Because of the contract situation (Danks signed a five-year, $65 million deal before to 2012), I want to show what I’m capable of and bounce back. I’ve felt the past two years I’ve almost hurt the team more than helped.”

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