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Rays' David Price unsure about timetable for return

Cy Young winner David Price is ready to throw again, but does not know when he will return.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- David Price said Saturday he could start throwing in the coming days but is unsure when he will return from the first disabled list stint of his major league career.

On May 16, the Tampa Bay Rays left-hander and reigning American League Cy Young Award winner was placed on the 15-day disabled list following a left triceps strain sustained in a 2 1/3-inning outing in a loss to the Boston Red Sox the day before. Price said he has participated in arm and shoulder exercises, in addition to sock throws in which he holds a ball and throws it in a sock, as if mimicking his throwing motion.

"I honestly have no idea," Price said of a timetable for his return, before the Rays played the New York Yankees in the second game of a three-game series at Tropicana Field. "It probably all depends on how I feel when I play catch -- how all that happens and how I bounce back after that. It's not trial and error, but we just have to base it on day-to-day."

Price, who has a 1-4 record with a 5.24 ERA in nine appearances, did not travel on the Rays' most recent six-game road trip to Baltimore and Toronto. He said he has been bored in his down time and that "it felt like it was the offseason on a day where you come to the Trop and you do your arm exercises … and you go home."

Price said the hardest moment of his DL stint so far was watching right-hander Jake Odorizzi pitch Monday in his spot in the rotation. Odorizzi, called up from Triple-A Durham to start in Price's place until a return, gave up three runs and five hits in five innings in the Blue Jays' 7-5 victory at Rogers Centre.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said Saturday there were no further Price updates, but he added that there could be more information before the end of the Rays' current five-game homestand, which concludes Tuesday. Shortly after Price was injured, Maddon said he anticipated a "normal" DL stint for the pitcher, meaning two to three missed starts. Price can come off the DL as early as May 31.   

"I do realize that it does take time," Price said. "It's something that I would think I have a lot of. It's OK."

Earlier Saturday morning, Price and head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield spoke at a fitness seminar at Tropicana Field as part of the annual PLAY initiative, a public awareness campaign of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society, in conjunction with the Taylor Hooton Foundation, that combats child obesity and promotes healthy lifestyle choices among young people.

Near the end of the seminar, which was open to kids ages 10-17, a male attendant during a question-and-answer session asked Price and Porterfield about the pitcher's recovery.

"You have to be able to make sure when you come back (you) stay back," Price said then. "I'm not just coming back to make three or four starts. I'm coming back to be here through the duration of the season and hopefully pitching through the postseason and the World Series as well. … It crushed me last trip, just not being with the guys. It was pretty rough."

Said Porterfield: "It's like I tell the players, I said, ‘If you took a knife out and you cut yourself, it's going to bleed, right?' The next day, it's going to start healing up, right? But if I pick that scab off, it's going to bleed again, right? So how long would it take until that cut is mature enough that you're not going to make it bleed anymore? The same thing goes on in your body.

"You have to go day by day. He'll be back into throwing probably in the next two to three days. We'll have him back out there throwing, maybe a little bit sooner than that. And if he responds well with that, then we'll start to increase that."

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.