SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies non-roster invitee right-hander Nick Masset once again has to be patient.
Masset hasn't appeared in a Major League game since 2011. After nine Minor League games in 2012, he underwent right shoulder surgery, then underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and missed 2013. Doctors removed a rib on the upper right side to relieve compression of nerves and/or blood vessels. The condition was slowing his healing from shoulder surgery.
Late last week, Masset left camp so St. Louis vascular surgeon Dr. Robert Thompson could operate Friday on a staph infection at the site of the TOS surgery. Luckily for Masset, the infection had not spread to his rib cage as was originally feared.
Masset had missed time earlier in the spring to attend the birth of his second child, which was a happy event that didn't disturb his preparation. The staph infection was a scare.
"It was just on the outer surface, so that could have been a different thing -- out three or four weeks as opposed to missing three days in Spring Training," Masset said. "Right now, I feel great. It's all clean, no more staph. I'm playing catch again. I'd like to throw off the mound again today and hopefully be in a game by Wednesday.
Masset was back in Rockies camp Monday and hoping to soon pitch in games. He hopes to have time to prove he's ready to break camp with the big club, but if not, he'll be an experienced Major League arm at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Masset, 31, was a successful setup man with the Reds before the original injury, which led to surgery to repair an anterior capsule in the shoulder.
"The decision is not up to me and it's something I really don't focus on -- I focus on getting myself ready to get hitters out," Masset said. "They just want me to make sure I get in the work I need to get in to be able to compete at a high level. We've got a couple weeks left, and I can get in a couple Minor League games if I need to get in. It's just a joy to be moving forward now.
"I've come this far. Now at this point they want me to go at the pace I need to go at to keep myself healthy for 162 games-plus, hopefully, the playoffs. I'm looking forward to getting back on the hill again."