HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 2, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish played catch with countryman Hisashi Iwakuma on Tuesday at the MLB All-Star Game in New York, but seeing as how he's on the disabled list he wasn't found anywhere near a pitcher's mound at Citi Field.
But Darvish, speaking to the media through his translator, said he will be ready to return, as planned, when the Rangers open a four-game home series on Monday against the New York Yankees.
"I feel perfectly fine," Darvish told The Dallas Morning News. "I could pitch today."
Darvish hit the disabled list with a strained muscle in his back when the Rangers were in Baltimore last week, and it was done retroactively which has him eligible to come off the DL on Monday.
The Rangers' ace said he wasn't disappointed in not being able to pitch in the All-Star Game — his second in two seasons without yet making an appearance — but said the experience of mingling with veterans and superstars is well worth the honor.