Lewis is ready to take the mound

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis is scheduled to throw off the mound on Friday for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right arm on July 27. Lewis threw off the lower half of the mound on Monday without problems and didn't have any residual soreness on Tuesday.

Lewis is planning to throw long-toss on Wednesday and then move to the mound on Friday. It will be a significant step in the rehabilitation process, but Lewis still wants to be careful. Lewis said he is feeling great but doesn't want to be lured into a false sense of security and have a setback by overthrowing.

"I feel too good, you know what I mean?" Lewis said. "I don't want to continue to push and push and push and have something bad happen. I want to be semi-cautious about it. The way I feel now, I don't want it to go away."

The Rangers have been hoping Lewis would be ready to return by June 1. Now they are growing cautiously optimistic it could be sooner.

The Rangers are trying to maintain the same caution with Joakim Soria, who had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery last April 3. The Rangers are expecting him back in May, but he is throwing off a mound and those who have been watching him are getting excited by what they are seeing.

While Lewis continues his rehabilitation, the fifth-starter competition goes on in camp but Kyle McClellan remains sidelined with soreness in the muscles behind his right shoulder. McClellan, who has not yet pitched in a Cactus League game, is scheduled to throw long-toss on Wednesday.