BY: John Mamola

It was only a few weeks ago when Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb took a batted ball off the side of his head and was diagnosed with only a mild concussion.  Cobb has since been working on returning to the mound in an effort to pitch again in 2013.  Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey told WDAE’s Ron and Ian Show that Cobb’s rehab from the injury is going better than expected.

“There is no timetable necessarily” said Hickey.  “If he’s back out on the mound in ten days, that wouldn’t surprise me.  And if it took him another 30 days to get back on the mound, that wouldn’t surprise me either.  He’s doing great overall.”

Hickey stated he doesn’t believe Cobb will have any sort of fear stepping back on the mound due to Cobb’s history of playing quarterback in high school, and says Cobb wants to get back to work immediately. 

Hickey also spoke of David Price’s return to the Tampa Bay Rays following a stint on the disabled list with a strained left triceps muscle.  Hickey said Rays fans could be seeing the defending American League Cy Young award winner sooner than later.

“It would be premature to say, but I would say at most he’ll make one more (rehab start)” said Hickey.  “I think today and tomorrow is the big day.  Tomorrow when he comes in and throws bullpen at Tropicana Field, it would be a lot easier to say.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes his next start with us.  And I wouldn’t be shocked if it was one more down on the farm also.”

Price, a 27-year-old left-hander, is 1-4 with a 5.24 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 49 strikeouts in 55 innings this season for the Rays. He's been out since May 15 after straining his left triceps. Last season, Price won the AL Cy Young award after going 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 205 strikeouts in 211 innings.