Johnny Cueto Takes Big Step in Tommy John Rehab

SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Cueto's Instagram has always been a source of entertainment for fans, providing funny pictures of the right-hander, updates on his horses, and the occasional live Q&A from a hot tub. But on Tuesday the page brought important news. 

Cueto, who has sailed through the rehab process thus far, posted a video of himself throwing off a mound at the organization's minor league facility in Scottsdale. It was his first bullpen session since having Tommy John surgery last summer. 

The first time off a mound is one of the biggest steps for a rehabbing pitcher, and manager Bruce Bochy said everything went well as Cueto threw about 25 pitches. Bochy credited Cueto for how seriously he has taken the process. He has lost a significant amount of weight as he has worked his way back. 

The Giants have always had Cueto set for a return around Sept. 1, allowing him to make a couple of starts to build confidence as he heads into the offseason. But since he reported to camp in February, Cueto has privately told people that he hopes to return in early to mid August. On Tuesday, Bochy said the timeframe hasn't changed. 

"Right now we're still looking at the same possibility of the end of the year, and we'll see what makes sense there," he said. "But he's coming along nicely."

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