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Worley building up strength in surgery rehab

PHILADELPHIA -- While many of his teammates are scattered throughout the country for the offseason, Vance Worley has remained in Philadelphia to rehab from minor elbow surgery.

More than seven weeks after a loose body and bone spur were removed from his pitching elbow, the Phillies' 25-year-old right-hander continues to build arm strength and condition for the 2013 season. He has already been throwing for a couple weeks, playing catch from 60 feet with members of the club's training staff.

He said there is no question he will be ready for Spring Training.

"It feels good," Worley said on Sunday. "It doesn't feel like I have a bone rubbing on another bone in there."

Five days a week at Citizens Bank Park, he has been working to regain the flexibility in his elbow, as well as strengthen his shoulder and the areas surrounding his elbow.

When he plays catch, he estimated that the trainers have him throwing at 60-70 percent effort "just to kind of make sure I've got the arm motion back and I'm throwing right."

A year after his 11-3 record and 3.01 ERA led to a third-place finish in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, Worley didn't see the results he and the Phillies had hoped for this past season. Though he maintained throughout the summer the bone chip was not a factor, Worley struggled to the tune of a 6-9 record and a 4.20 ERA in 23 starts in 2012.

Particularly, Worley labored in his final five outings, going 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA, before the Phillies decided to shut him down on Aug. 29 and give him a head start on preparing for 2013. Two days after his Sept. 7 surgery, which he said lasted only 30-45 minutes, he was already running as part of his conditioning to get ready for Spring Training.

"Everything's going really well so far," he said.

Vance Worley