The last time we saw White Sox right-hander Jose Contreras he wasn't doing so well. As seen at left, Contreras tore his left Achilles tendon on Aug. 9 at U.S. Cellular Field.
The injury usually takes a minimum of nine months to recover from. I've written on this blog that I don't expect to see Contreras until at least the All-Star break.
Well, guess what. He's throwing off a mound already. And he's lost 25 pounds. Scroll down to the bottom of Ken Rosenthal's report, and you'll see it.
Of course, there's a big leap from being able to throw off a mound to being able to get big-league hitters out consistently. But it's nice to know Contreras is ahead of schedule, especially since the Sox have a lot of unproven pitchers that will be competing for roster spots this spring.
I still don't expect a whole heckuva lot from Contreras in 2009, but any contributions the Sox could get from him would be huge.