Neftali Feliz is facing a long road back to the mound after undergoing Tommy John surgery this week, but the closer-turned-starter is optimistic as he stares down the 12-month rehabilitation period required after the procedure.
“It’s hard but it’s not impossible,” Feliz said this week, per the Dallas Morning News. “I have to work hard and do whatever is best for me.”
Feliz doesn’t believe the transition from short relief to starting caused the elbow issue that ultimately landed him under the knife, saying there was no evidence to suggest as much. If the rehab goes as planned, there’s a chance that Feliz could come back throwing even harder than before the injury--it’s not at all uncommon for this to happen, anyway--and Feliz is well aware of the fact.
“If I’m throwing 110, that’s good,” he said.
Feliz finished his abbreviated 2012 season with a 3-1 record, a 3.16 ERA, 37 strikeouts and 23 walks.