LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who is on the disabled list with a left oblique strain, threw his first bullpen session Sunday since suffering the injury. Kuroda threw 25 pitches, all fastballs, and came out of the session saying his shoulder and side "feel so much better." But he also added that it's still too early to set a target date on his return to the club.
"I don't really have a timetable and if there is one I'm not aware of it," Kuroda said through a translator. "Last time, I tried to rush it though and tried to push the trainer to let me throw more and it caused a setback. So this time I'm going to listen to the trainer as much as possible." Dodgers athletic trainer Stan Conte said Kuroda will travel with the team on its upcoming six-game road trip and could throw another bullpen session Tuesday or Wednesday. But that bullpen session is expected to be more intense than the one Kuroda threw Sunday. "We purposely kept it really light today so that he could get a feel for the mound and see if there's any difference," Conte said. "And then also hopefully it gives him confidence to throw a regular bullpen. So the next step will be a harder bullpen." Kuroda said he's ready for that next step and is excited to get to the point where he can throw in simulated games. "If it were up to me, I'd throw tomorrow," Kuroda said. "My body feels well and everything is going in the right direction but it's up the trainer and [manager] Joe [Torre] to decide." Kuroda made just one start this season, which came in an Opening Day win over the Padres when he allowed one run over 5 1/3 innings, before going on the disabled list days later with a strained oblique. In 32 career starts with the Dodgers, Kuroda is 10-10 with a 3.67 ERA.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.