Fujikawa back on the mound following surgery

MESA, Ariz. -- It was only 20, 25 pitches, but it was the first time Kyuji Fujikawa threw off a mound since he had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, and the Cubs pitcher said he is continuing to make progress.

"It's one step at a time and it's a long process," Fujikawa, who had the procedure last June, said Wednesday through interpreter Ryo Shinkawa.

The right-hander, limited to 12 games last season, his first with the Cubs, said he didn't hesitate during his session on Monday.

"I didn't have any doubts because I was throwing with pretty good intensity on flat ground," he said.

What's next?

"All I can say now is I'm playing light catch today," he said. "Anything can happen each day. I'm following the medical staff and the [athletic] trainer's plan and following the schedule."

The Cubs are hopeful Fujikawa can pitch for the big league team this summer.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.