Jorge De La Rosa rehab pushed back
DENVER -- Hard-throwing lefty Jorge De La Rosa's comeback from Tommy John surgery hit a speed bump Saturday when the Colorado Rockies decided to shut him down because of tightness in his left forearm.
De La Rosa had been on pace to return to the Rockies' rotation on June 2, which is a day shy of the one-year anniversary of his operation. But he's dealt with forearm tightness following his past two minor league outings.
So, he will be able to pitch again on May 26, when a new 30-day clock starts ticking on his minor league rehab assignment, although he could return to the Rockies at any point during that time frame.
"I still don't think that this is any big thing," manager Jim Tracy said. "It's just another avenue in the road that you have to go down as you're recuperating from this process and this surgery."
De La Rosa said he was disappointed, but understands the Rockies are just being cautious.
"I want to be here, but like they say, I need more time," De La Rosa said. "I think I have to pitch more and build up my pitches to be ready to pitch here. They want to be careful with me because it hasn't been a year since I had the surgery. So, they know how hard it is to come back from this."
Still, De La Rosa said he was bummed because he had been feeling and pitching so well throughout his comeback that started at extended spring training in Arizona. He started to feel fatigue and tightness over the past week, "and they want me to slow down," he said.
De La Rosa said he had never experienced forearm tightness before.
Tracy stressed De La Rosa's elbow is sound.
"I want to make sure that everyone is aware of the fact that it is forearm tightness and that at some time we will get back to this rehab -- and maybe close to the schedule. I don't know that exactly," Tracy said. "But what I'm trying to emphasize is this is not elbow-related.
"He's not experiencing any discomfort with his elbow. He is having trouble with his forearm loosening up. ... So, we're pulling him back and we're going to get this quieted down and hopefully much sooner than later we'll be able to resume."
Major League rules require players pulled from a minor league rehab assignment must wait a week before playing again.
De La Rosa tore a ligament in his left elbow last May 24 during the first game of a doubleheader against Arizona. At the time, he was coming off his first career complete game and was Colorado's top pitcher with a 5-2 record and a 3.51 ERA.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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