CHICAGO (AP) - John Danks believes he's just about ready to return to the Chicago White Sox's rotation.
The 28-year-old left-hander said after a bullpen session on Tuesday that he's ``getting excited about getting back out there'' after being sidelined for a year by a shoulder injury and hopes to make his first start this week.
``It's been a long process,'' Danks said. ``Hopefully it ends this weekend. I knew it was going to be a long process. We're still not there.''
Manager Robin Ventura wasn't quite ready to pronounce him ready, saying the White Sox were looking to see how he feels the next day and will probably announce a decision after Wednesday's game against Boston.
``So far, it looked good,'' Ventura said.
Either way, Danks appears close to a return after being limited to just nine starts last season. He hasn't pitched since May 19 of last year and had surgery in August to repair a capsule tear and remove debris in his rotator cuff and biceps.
He was hoping to be ready for the start of the season, but the White Sox placed him on the 15-day disabled list on March 26.
``I feel like I'm close to getting where my stuff was before I got hurt so, stuff-wise there won't be too much of a drop-off,'' he said. ``My biggest thing is throwing the ball where I want to and making it do what I want it to do. So the stuff is going to be fine.''
Danks had a career-high 15 wins for the White Sox in 2010, when he made 32 starts and cleared 200 innings for the second consecutive season. But he was 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA in 2011 and had his injury woes last year.
Danks is in the second season of a $65 million, five-year contract.
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