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Wada hopes to pitch before Spring Training ends

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada is about three to four weeks away from throwing bullpen sessions, and he said Wednesday he could get into a Spring Training game before camp ends.

"It is a possibility, but we have to go through a [bullpen session] and I have to go through a [simulated] game." Wada said through interpreter/athletic trainer Seob Yoon. "I want to throw as early as possible, but I know that I have to kind of slow it down sometimes."

Wada took part in fielding drills with his teammates during the club's first official workout for pitchers and catchers, and although he didn't do any of the throwing portion, the left-hander is progressing on a long-toss program that he started in November. Wada, who made around 20 tosses at 270 feet on Wednesday, said he is regaining strength and targeting a return around the one-year anniversaryfrom undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.

"Obviously as soon as possible, that's what I feel," Wada said of a return date, "but I have to talk to the trainers and what they think and all of that, and we will decide together. Typically, with Tommy John [surgery], it takes about a year, and May was when I had the surgery. So May or June, around there, if I could go up there and be with the Orioles, that would be great."

Signed to a two-year, $8.15 million contract last winter, Wada has yet to throw a pitch for the club as his elbow issues date back to last spring. He will remain in Major League camp during his rehab and participate in as much of the Orioles' activities as he can.

"It's nice to see those faces again around and be with the team," Wada said. "I really want to help out the team this year, because I wasn't able to last year."

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