ST. LOUIS Brian Wilson didnt care if it happened in thenations capital, on the banks of the Ohio River, on the shores of McCovey Coveor on a cold, gray afternoon within view of the Gateway Arch.
He knew his first experience tossing a baseball with his newarm would come on Oct. 19, six months to the date of his reconstructive elbowsurgery. And on that day, he wanted to be with the Giants as they prepared forGame 5 of the National League Championship Series.
First session on a major league field, said Wilson, aftermaking 30 tosses from 45 feet at Busch Stadium. Im right where I need to be.
Wilson vowed to be 100 percent in spring training and fullyoperational for the Giants 2013 opener, even though itll arrive 17 days shortof the one-year anniversary of his procedure.
But Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner, while heappreciated Wilsons optimism, reminded that there are no certainties especially for someone who is having his ulnar collateral ligamentreconstructed for the second time.
REWIND: Giants say Wilson surgery a success
It can be done in 11 months, but sometimes its 16,Groeschner said. At this point, its too early to say. If all goes great maybe. If he has setbacks, which can happen to anybody, itll be tough.
Hes being positive, obviously, but its hard to say. Weknow we will do all we can and he will do all he can. Well just have to waitand see.
For now, all parties were relieved that Wilson couldgraduate from the tedium of arm exercises to some light tossing. There wasntmuch else for Wilson to do other than watch his beard grow, which it certainlyhas.
Wilson looks like he could teach a course on the Talmud.
At this point, I understand its completely ridiculous, hesaid. Im totally OK with that. And I also dont care.
Wilson is going to toss every three days for the next monthbefore he ramps up his throwing program. He said the next checkmark is to startswinging a golf club.
Seriously, he said. Helps to break up scar tissue.
Well, at least he didnt try to grip it and rip it duringhis first throwing session.
They were afraid for me getting amped up three months agoand chucking a baseball as hard as I could, Wilson said. But I like to thinkI value my intelligence.
Responded Groeschner, smiling: He values his intelligencemore than we do.
Wilson doesnt have a contract yet for next season, but hesgot one more year of arbitration before he could become a free agent, and theexpectation is that he and the Giants will work out a one-year deal that isamenable to all parties.
The Giants might even look to ease Wilson into the closerrole, especially since the committee approach served their current personnelwell in the bearded ones absence this season.
Does Wilson expect to pitch in the ninth inning out of thechute?
Im not going to speculate or insinuate anything, he said,but Im paid to be me and Ill be me on opening day.
As if he could be anyone else.