Danks hoping to make one rehab start

John Danks' elbow injury may explain his poor start to the season. Jerry Lai/US Presswire

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks said Wednesday he felt great after throwing a long bullpen session and was hopeful he could return to the rotation after one rehab start.

Danks went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 20 after feeling an abnormal soreness in the back of his left throwing shoulder following a start against the Chicago Cubs on May 19.

“(The bullpen session) went great,” Danks said prior to Wednesday’s game. “This was leaps and bounds from where we were just last time. It felt good. I threw all four pitches pain-free for strikes, and I’m ready to go, man. It’s been a long time now. So, I’m looking forward (to it.) I think I’ll probably go throw somewhere next week and hopefully be ready to go by then.”

If Danks were to make one rehab start in the minors early next week, he could be ready to face the Los Angeles Dodgers (June 15-17) or Cubs (June 18-20).

“I haven’t been told anything just yet,” Danks said. “I would imagine Cubs or Dodgers looking at the schedule. Like I said, I’m hoping I only need the one game, but I felt like I could have got some people out today in the bullpen. I felt good and like I said I was throwing the ball where I was trying to throw it and making it do what I wanted it to do. It has been a good day.”

Danks allowed three hits and no runs in 6 1/3 innings in his last outing, but he had struggled for much of the season prior to the start. He has a 3-4 record with a 5.70 ERA this season.

Danks was hopeful the extra time off could help him the rest of the season.

“Yeah, it has to,” Danks said. “That’s the silver lining we try to focus on. You don’t go into the year hoping (to get injured.) You are hoping to miss no time. But if we have to miss some time, I guess middle of the season would be the time to do it. Hopefully go pain-free and healthy the rest of the way.”

Jose Quintana has filled in for Danks in the rotation. Quintana is 1-0 with 1.69 ERA and will make his third start on Wednesday.

Danks received a five-year, $65 million contract extension in the offseason. He’ll make $8 million this season and jump to $14.25 from 2013-2016.