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Sherrill hopes to return from injury in April

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- George Sherrill, a left-handed reliever on the comeback trail from Tommy John surgery, believes he will be ready for competition by late April.

"I've been told relievers can come back after about 10 months, but I think it depends on the guy and on the team, that type of thing," he said Sunday at the Royals' camp.

Sherrill was with Seattle when he had the surgery last May and did much of his rehabilitation work with the Mariners. Then he signed a Minor League contract with the Royals as a free agent.

"I got down here and had a week of three days [of throwing] and then all of a sudden, I was just throwing every day. But I've got today off so that's good because it gives me a day to catch up," Sherrill said.

"But the two bullpens have felt great, throwing every day has felt great and from what I'm told, everything in there has healed and now it's just a matter of getting it in shape to go pitch and get guys out."

Sherrill, 35, was an All-Star closer for Baltimore in 2008 and has been very effective pitching to left-handed batters.

"From what they're telling me, if I can be who I was, then I can help out," he said. "So that's what I'm hoping -- to show them that it's just bouncing back and not only does it look good when I'm throwing, it feels good the next day and that type of thing. I don't know, but I don't think I'm even going to throw in a game during the spring."

His bullpen sessions so far have been limited to 15 pitches, all fastballs.