PHOENIX -- If it were up to him, Doug Davis would already be back pitching for the Diamondbacks. But after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid, his timetable for return to the rotation is up to how quickly he recovers and regains full strength. Davis was upbeat during a midgame media session in the press box on Saturday night.
"I don't feel any different now than I felt before surgery," Davis said. "I'm a little bit sore in the neck area, but other than that, I feel great. I'm just trying to keep my arm strength up to where I don't have to do too many starts down there in the Minor Leagues." Davis hasn't been receiving any treatment since his April 9 surgery because he is unable to take any medication until his TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) goes up. Davis will then have to start taking a radioactive iodine pill, as well as pills for thyroid buildup. The 32-year-old left-hander hasn't yet started a specific pitching program, but has started to play catch from 120 feet. "If you've had nine days off, you're gonna feel real good out there, and I felt good. Davis is hoping to only have two Minor League rehab starts before sliding back into the rotation again, aiming to return around May 9 in Chicago, marking exactly one month after his surgery. "They said about four to six weeks," Davis said. "I want to do four." Davis said he's received lots of mail from fans that have undergone similar treatment and said it was very warming to come back to such support. "I haven't been here in about three or four days, and I've had about 30-40 [letters] of fan mail, just get-well-soon cards, so that was nice to come back to," Davis said. "There have been just countless e-mails that they've printed up and put in my locker. I haven't even gotten to those yet. There have been about 80 or 90." The D-backs started a cancer charity called the "49 Fund," after Davis' jersey No. 49, that will raise money for families of children with cancer at St. Joseph's hospital, with the goal in mind to raise $49,000.
Mike Ritter is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.