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McGowan hopes to be ready opening day
Dustin and Jilly McGowan and their 15-month-old daughter, McKensy, spent Christmas with family in Long County. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
Last year was a difficult one for Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Dustin McGowan. The Long County native spent the season sidelined with injuries but is now optimistic about the upcoming year.
“I feel good. My shoulder feels great. I’m throwing again and looking forward to getting back on the mound,” McGowan said.
McGowan, his wife Jilly and 15-month-old daughter, Mc-
Kensy, returned to Long County for
Christmas. McGowan said the break was good for him and his family.
“We had a great Christmas,” he said. “It’s always good to see our family and friends and get away from everything and just hang out with people from back home.”
Jilly McGowan said, “We really enjoyed our time at home this year, but we are both really excited about and eager to start the new season.”
“Right now, we’re going down to Florida to see Jilly’s family, and then we’re going down early to Dunedin to get a jump on spring training,” McGowan said.
Family has always been important the McGowans, but with the addition of their daughter, they both say they appreciate it even more.
“Being a dad is the greatest feeling in the world. It makes you see everything a little differently,” the pitcher said.
His wife added, “We feel blessed in all areas of our lives.”
McGowan missed all of the 2009 season and part of the 2008 season due to a shoulder injury that required surgery. To add to the right-hander’s misery, he also injured his knee last year and underwent minor surgery.
According to McGowan, his knee is fine, but the shoulder injury required a lot of rehab.
“It’s been difficult,” he said. “You start out not being able to throw and then you throw a little, and progressively increase your throwing. Right now it feels good and I’m throwing well.”
On a scale of one to 100 percent, McGowan rated his fitness high. “Oh, I would say I’m somewhere around 85 percent.”
He also said he plans to be on the pitching mound soon and in the Blue Jay’s rotation.
“I’m shooting for the first of the year. I plan on (doing so well at spring training), making it hard for them not to put me on the mound,” McGowan said.
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