Marlins starter Jose Fernandez, who underwent Tommy John surgery on May 16, has been cleared to start throwing on Oct. 1, the team announced on Friday.
The 22-year-old, who won the NL Rookie of the Year last season after going 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA in 28 starts, was 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in eight starts this season before the injury. He plans to throw from either 30 or 45 feet for about three or four minutes in his first throwing session.
"A lot of good news came out of that in going up there and seeing him so I'm really excited," Fernandez said about his visit with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Thursday. "I'm feeling great. I'm feeling like I didn't have the surgery so I think that's good news."
There is no timetable for Fernandez to return to game action, according to the team. Whatever day he does return, Fernandez said he hopes it is at Marlins Park, where he is 9-0 with a 1.19 ERA in 15 starts.
"We are going really week by week," Fernandez said. "That was the goal since surgery. ... If it's Opening Day, great. If it's September next year, great. It will depend on how I feel.
"I've got to be really smart about how I'm going to approach this and be really careful because I don't want to come back for three months, I want to come back for 13, 14 more years that I want to play in the big leagues."
- Chris Mascaro