San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said ace Madison Bumgarner is expected to begin throwing on Friday as he rehabs from a shoulder strain, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
He will then throw five rehab starts once he's ready to resume pitching, per Schulman.
Bumgarner, 27, suffered a second-degree left shoulder AC strain in a late-April dirt bike accident. The injury was expected to keep him out for around three months.
"I was actually being pretty safe the whole time," Bumgarner told reporters at the time, per Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle. "It was just a freak deal. It happened right at the end [after a couple of hours]. That's really it. Like I said, I wish I had some kind of good story to tell everybody, but I don't. ... I really wasn't going that fast. I'm not exactly sure what happened."
It was an injury the Giants couldn't afford. The team entered Sunday 21-30 and in fourth place in the National League West, with a team ERA of 4.28 (21st in baseball). Bumgarner's absence not only deprived San Francisco of its top starter but also by proxy put more pressure on the bullpen, as Bumgarner regularly pitches into the seventh inning.
Since 2011, Bumgarner has been one of the game's most dominant pitchers. In the past five seasons, he's finished every campaign with at least 190 strikeouts and 200 innings pitched, an ERA below 3.40 and a WHIP below 1.15.
He also helped lead the Giants to three titles in five years and was the World Series MVP in 2014.
Suffice to say, he's been missed in San Francisco.