PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Karstens, shut down two and a half weeks ago with shoulder inflammation, said he is feeling "a lot better" after four throwing sessions into his recovery program. Karstens stretched out his flat-ground throwing to 90 feet Friday afternoon at PNC Park. Chris Leroux (strained pectoral muscle) is on a similar conservative schedule and tossed at 80 feet on Friday. "I'm anxious to return, but we want to do it quickly and safely," Karstens said. "The first time [I threw] it stunk. Second time was better, and it's kept getting better.
"But it's still fairly early. We want to build up endurance and strength, and go from there." While Karstens is already eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list, Leroux went on the 60-day DL on April 4 so still has at least a month of rehab remaining. "And I'm going to need all of it, at least," Leroux said.
"They're both making advancement on their flat-ground programs," manager Clint Hurdle said. "They both feel fine, are coming along well."