PITTSBURGH -- Ross Ohlendorf will take the next big step in his rehab process on Wednesday, when he steps on the mound for the first time since leaving his April 8 start with a right shoulder strain.
Ohlendorf, who has been on the disabled list since that April 8 outing, has been throwing on flat ground for little over a week. He extended himself out to 120 feet on Tuesday, marking the last checkpoint in that phase. Now, it's to the mound, where Ohlendorf will throw two or three bullpen sessions during the next week.
Assuming all goes well, the right-hander will follow that up by throwing live batting practice and then heading off on a Minor League rehab assignment. That assignment could last one or two starts.
"It's feeling really good," Ohlendorf said. "It wasn't as bad as [a similar injury] last year."
Ohlendorf is still targeting a mid-May return to the Pirates' rotation. In the meantime, his starting spot will continue to be filled by Jeff Karstens, who is scheduled to make his third spot start on Thursday.