FUKUOKA – Former big leaguer Daisuke Matsuzaka said Wednesday he is still hoping to make a comeback, and the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have indicated they want to help.
The 37-year-old right-hander is in the final year of a three-year contract that lured him back from the big leagues, but has pitched in just one regular-season game with SoftBank’s first team.
“I don’t think it’s going to be easy, but I want to work toward putting it all together and being able to pitch,” Matsuzaka said at the Hawks’ minor league complex.
Matsuzaka had shoulder surgery in August 2015, and as part of his effort to comeback this season, the Hawks dispatched him to the Puerto Rican Winter League a year ago. He seemed nearly ready to rejoin the first team in April, but his right shoulder was not yet ready.
The Hawks are planning to sit down with the pitcher and map out the conditions under which he might return, while Matsuzaka has been rehabbing in a way that avoids strain on the shoulder. He said, however, that he’s seeing the light at the end of his present rehab tunnel.
“Right now, I’m finally able to move a bit,” he said.
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