ST. PETERSBURG -- Brandon Gomes went on the disabled list with a right lat strain on May 10.
Progress has been slow, but Gomes appears healed and should soon be able to make steady progress toward rejoining the team.
"If everything goes well, should throw off a mound in about a week," the right-hander said.
Gomes began throwing a week ago. As he understood things, a couple of times throwing off the mound would lead into a rehab assignment, which means his earliest return will most likely be at the end of June.
"But that's up to [head athletic trainer] Ron [Porterfield] and the coaches to see how everything goes from there," Gomes said.
Gomes said he had been antsy to return since sustaining the injury.
"But it's good to be pain free," Gomes said. "I can kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel right now."
Looking back, Gomes is glad he went on the disabled list, because he did not see any other alternative.
"It got to the point where I couldn't anymore," Gomes said. "A, it was too painful, and, B, it affected my stuff. So I didn't think I had a choice. If I could have gutted it out, I would have. If it was pain and wasn't affecting how I was throwing, I can deal with that the whole year. But it got to where it was just too painful. That last time I warmed up, I could barely get the ball to the plate.
"For me to go on the DL, there was no other option. I tried to push through it. It took three or four weeks until I finally had no pain. It was a pretty good strain. Now we can go forward, and I can just concentrate on getting my arm in shape so I can get back out there."
Gomes is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 14 games for the Rays this season.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.