Padre reliever Goose Gossage on Thursday threw to a catcher, not a trainer, for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee three weeks ago.
His catcher, Bruce Bochy, said, "It surprised me how well he threw. He had good velocity."
As a result, Padre trainer Dick Dent, who had been playing catch with Gossage in hallways, now says he has "guarded optimism" about a quick Gossage recovery, which means he could be pitching again by Sept. 1.
"He threw 10 minutes and exactly 55 pitches," Dent said Thursday. "He said it felt good. There was the normal weakness toward the end and slight swelling. He's encouraged, and so am I."
If Gossage has a swollen knee today, Dent said the timetable would change. But as of now, Gossage is slated to throw again Saturday. If he again feels fine, he would pitch batting practice Monday in Philadelphia.
Eventually, Dent would decide when he thinks Gossage is ready to throw in a game. At that point, pitching coach Galen Cisco would make sure Gossage's mechanics are correct. The rest would be up to Gossage.