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Fernandez progressing toward Marlins return

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

SAN FRANCISCO -- A year has passed since Jose Fernandez last saw action in a big league game. The right-hander experienced discomfort in his throwing arm during a five-inning start for the Marlins at San Diego on May 9, 2014.

A week later, Fernandez underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow. The Marlins have not set a firm return date for the 23-year-old, but it could be as early as June.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- A year has passed since Jose Fernandez last saw action in a big league game. The right-hander experienced discomfort in his throwing arm during a five-inning start for the Marlins at San Diego on May 9, 2014.

A week later, Fernandez underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow. The Marlins have not set a firm return date for the 23-year-old, but it could be as early as June.

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Fernandez is continuing his throwing program in South Florida. He's already faced hitters in live batting practice, and has at least another session with hitters in the upcoming days.

In the not-too-distant future, Fernandez will progress to game action in extended spring games at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. The general range for a return to the Marlins is from mid-June to the All-Star break in mid-July.

"You're at that stage now where you let him compete, and you get feedback," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "We'll see ... is he feeling anything in his arm, or his shoulder? How is his stuff? That's why you can't really pin anything down until you put him on a rehab [assignment]."

The 2013 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, Fernandez made just eight starts in 2014. He went 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA, with 70 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings.

Last May 9, Fernandez gave up six runs in five innings in a loss to the Padres. He was tagged for two home runs in the outing.

Tommy John surgery was performed last May 16.

During his recovery, Fernandez has been progressing nicely.

"He's hitting [every marker in his recovery]," Hill said. "Everything has been positive to this point. But I would never speculate on where he is at until he starts [a rehab assignment]. Then you'll know if he is feeling any tenderness, or anything that you might be working through."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro.

Miami Marlins, Jose Fernandez