Fujikawa's progress has Cubs optimistic

Fujikawa's progress has Cubs optimistic

MESA, Ariz. -- It's been one month since Kyuji Fujikawa started throwing on the side, and the Cubs' right-hander continues to make progress in his comeback from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Fujikawa, who had the surgery last June, threw 45 pitches on Sunday in a side session and was getting close to throwing live batting practice, Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Sunday.

"He's slowly graduating to finally getting out there to live BP," Renteria said. "He's moving along."

Fujikawa will open the season on the disabled list, but the Cubs are optimistic he could be available this season.

"It's good -- it's real good," Renteria said of the right-hander's progress.

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.