GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Less than a week after undergoing left knee surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage, Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos returned to throwing Wednesday, playing catch on flat ground a few days earlier than the club first anticipated.
Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek initially expected Latos to resume his throwing program seven to 10 days after the surgery on Friday, but the right-hander felt good enough Wednesday to push ahead of schedule.
"I'm not surprised by it, not in this day and age," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's incredible what doctors can do, so once we had the MRI results and knew what the injury was with the meniscus, I was confident with Dr. Kremchek's evaluation. We dodged a bullet there for sure."
Latos, who is also coming off October arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow, injured the knee last week when he slipped while long tossing. The Reds are still unsure when Latos will return to the mound, but the club wants to play it safe this early into camp.
"Before his knee injury, our concern was making sure his arm was ready to handle the rigors of Spring Training," Price said. "We hadn't satisfied that understanding yet, so he's got some evolution to take place before we're ready to know when we think he'll be able to face hitters or get in a game."
In 32 starts last year, Latos finished 14-7 with a 3.16 ERA over 210 2/3 innings. He allowed 197 hits and struck out 187 batters with 58 walks.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.