TEMPE, Ariz. -- Ryan Madson can't exactly pinpoint a timetable for when he can finally progress past throwing off flat ground, navigate through a collection of bullpen sessions and actually start appearing in games again.
For help, he conjures his memory.
"A smart athletic trainer once told me that for every day you're off, it takes that many days [to get back]," Madson said Friday morning, shortly after throwing from 60 feet for about 10 minutes and feeling good.
"I had three weeks off. So it'll probably take three weeks to get back to where I was at."
After his fourth bullpen session of the offseason on Feb. 1, the Angels shut down Madson's recovery from Tommy John surgery because of uncommon elbow soreness. This past Monday, after a clean MRI, he started throwing off flat ground again.
Eighteen days from then -- the exact amount of time he was shut down for -- would have Madson back on the mound by March 8, by his estimation. Then he'd have to start the process of building himself up for games, which may or may not be enough time to get into Spring Training games before Opening Day on April 1.
"That'd be great, but it's not certain," said Madson, all but guaranteed to start the season on the disabled list.
Asked for his confidence level that Madson could appear in Cactus League games before the schedule dries out, manager Mike Scioscia said: "The fact that he's throwing is a plus, but his throwing progression hasn't gotten to a point where he's given us any kind of indication yet. It's going to take a little bit of time. But he's still at 60 feet. You have to get out to at least 150, 180 feet before you could feel good about where your arm is. It's a progression."