ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin: ‘I honestly feel great right now’

Feb 25, 2015, 10:16 PM | Updated: 11:36 pm

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LISTEN: Patrick Corbin- Diamondbacks LHP

Patrick Corbin was as pleasant a surprise as you could have found in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2013 season.

The left-handed pitcher, who entered the season as the team’s fifth starter, emerged as the staff ace. He posted a 14-8 record with a 3.41 ERA and was named a National League All-Star.

So, it was not a surprise last year when he was named the team’s Opening Day starter.

Less than two weeks later, though, it was learned Corbin would miss the team’s trip to Australia due to a UCL injury, and not long after that he underwent Tommy John Surgery, ending his season.

Corbin is not expected to be ready for Opening Day in 2015, but he is making progress toward a return.

“I honestly feel great right now,” he told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday, adding he and reliever David Hernandez — also recovering from Tommy John surgery — are on the same throwing program. “We’re back to 120 feet right now. It’s taken a long time, the process is really slow, but my arm feels great.

“I actually feel like I want to push it a little bit more every day, but we have to take our time and just go through the progression. We’re getting close to getting back on a mound again, so that feels great.”

The Diamondbacks will understandably be careful with the 25-year-old Corbin, who at this time last year was viewed as one of the franchise’s cornerstones.

And in a way, that’s the frustrating part for Corbin, who wants nothing more than to get back to where he was before the injury.

He knows it’s only a matter of time, and he said watching fellow hurlers Daniel Hudson and Matt Reynolds, both of whom are working their way back from Tommy John surgery, helps him feel better about the rehabilitation process.

When it’s his time to get back on the mound, Corbin said he’s confident the mental hurdle won’t be much of an issue.

“When I started throwing at six months, which was the last month of our last season and a month after, I threw for two months,” he said. “The arm still didn’t feel too right, just playing catch. We were still working our way back — I think we got back to 105 feet before I shut it down again. Just didn’t feel like myself — probably because I had just started throwing again after six months and the surgery.

“But when I took the two months off, came back here early January and started throwing again, things felt normal again. Felt great and now I don’t even think about the elbow and I feel like we’re letting it go.”

Corbin added he will have a better idea of when he will return after he starts throwing off the mound again.

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