A.J. Ellis, Kenley Jansen

While the Los Angeles Dodgers are playing their Spring Training games, Kenley Jansen is continuing his rehabilitation program off of the field.

Jansen, who had surgery to remove a growth on his foot one month ago, started a throwing program, throwing off of one foot periodically. While throwing, he was not allowed to put pressure on the foot. Although he was not expected to make his return until April 28, the right-hander is expected to return sooner than that date.

According to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA, Don Mattingly says that Jansen can now put pressure on the foot while he throws:

He’ll be able to stand, step on the boot and throw. It’s a good day of Kenley to get off the crutches, be able to walk in the boot,” manager Don Mattingly said. “It gets that process started, keeps his arms moving. He’s been doing stuff without that, but now he’s getting closer to putting the pieces together.”

While Jansen has been throwing and keeping his arm loose on one foot, being able to put some pressure on the foot will speed up his recovery time. Spring Training is a time for pitchers to master their mechanics, and not being able to put pressure on his foot limited the right-hander’s ability to work on his landing. With this improvement, he can now work on his whole body, rather than just his throwing.

Jansen would have entered the spring and the season as the Dodgers closer, but they will have to do without him for at least a month. While the first half of the 2014 season was rough for the 27-year-old, he recovered in the second half, dropping his ERA nearly two full runs. He ended the season with a 2.76 ERA, 44 saves, and only five blown saves (three of which came in the first half).

Although Jansen’s improvements have come quickly, he still has a long way to go before he is ready for actual games.

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