"First, it looked like May, then July … I don't want to jinx it again," Luebke said.
Luebke is back throwing again after several stops-and-starts during his rehabilitation. He's currently at 120 feet, working up from 60, 90 to 120 feet with 150 feet still to go before he can return to a mound.
"It feels better," Luebke said of the elbow. "We're being a little more cautious, making sure that I don't push it."
The return timeframe for pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery ranges between 12 and 18 months. Because no two cases are alike, those estimates are exactly just that -- estimates.
The Padres have mapped out a rough plan for Luebke that could have him throwing in a game in late August or early September if he hits all of his rehabilitation marks.
"I hope like heck I can," Luebke said, when asked if he'll pitch in a game this season.
He said for now he's not going to worry about the particulars of where and when he will make his return.
"I'm to the point where we'll about that later," Luebke said.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.