Ryan and the organization were delighted to hear he'd be able to throw in a game Saturday in what would be his first appearance since suffering an elbow injury in April 2007. Still, the Jays' star closer will follow Dr. Timothy Kremcheck's advice and take a bit more time before returning to the mound in competition.
"Dr. Kremcheck thought getting another couple of simulated games under [Ryan's] belt would be advantageous," pitching coach Brad Arnsberg said of Kremcheck, the surgeon who performed the Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery on Ryan in mid-May of last season. "We've come this far, and we don't need to push. He's still going to get five to seven outings from that point, and that's going every third day."
Saturday's home game against Detroit would've placed Ryan one week ahead of schedule on rehabilitating his throwing arm, but despite the setback, Ryan's earlier comments proved he's optimistic about being ready for the season.
"Seven or eight [spring] appearances is plenty, because I've done a lot of mound work," Ryan said on Wednesday after his 18-pitch simulated game. "I don't even know if [I'll pitch in back-to-back games this spring]. That's just something else we're going to talk about down the line."
Ryan now will throw a one-inning simulated game on both Saturday and Tuesday, and if all goes well, he should see time on the mound on March 15 at home against the Pirates.
"We still have projections of him hopefully leaving camp with us at this point," Arnsberg said.
Dawn Klemish is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.