Byrdak was sent home earlier this month to continue his rehab from shoulder surgery.
Rubin says Byrdak is throwing from 90 feet on flat ground, and is expected to increase that to 120 feet soon.
Byrdak, 39, had surgery in early September to repair an anterior capsule tear in his left shoulder, as well as surgery to repair a torn ligament in his knee. He signed a minor league contract with the Mets during the off-season.
Byrdak made 56 relief appearances in 2012, during which he went 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA in 30 2/3 innings. He gave up 18 hits, 18 walks and 34 strikeouts while giving up 15 earned runs and lefthanders hit .154 for the year against him.
Earlier this month, Byrdak sounded very confident and pleased with the way things have gone since his surgery, but who knows in the end. He’s 39, and he’s coming off surgery which has been proven to take a real long time to recover from, both through a rehabilitation program and pitching. I’ll be curious to see how Byrdak does after this surgery given his age and his role. Terry Collins has said in the past he didn’t think Chris Young was a candidate for the bullpen due to the inability to predict when he would pitch in relation to his shoulder – presumably, Byrdak falls under the same umbrella, given he had the same injury.