Lewis close to big step

Lewis close to big step

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pitcher Colby Lewis, trying to come back from flexor tendon surgery, could graduate to live batting practice before the Rangers leave Arizona. Lewis has been throwing off the mound in the bullpen and threw 41 pitches on Monday without a problem.

He will take three days off and throw another bullpen session on Friday. If that goes well, Lewis said he could start throwing live batting practice the following Tuesday. The Rangers break camp the next day after their game against the Angels.

"As long as I continue to feel good, it's a significant step," Lewis said. "I just don't want to go backward. But we got after it pretty good today."

Rangers starting pitchers come to camp ready to throw live batting practice and take six weeks to build up for the start of the season. The club might go slower with Lewis, but if he follows a similar schedule he could return at some point during May.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.