GREENFIELD — Kyle Gibson reckons it had been nearly 20 years since he went this long without playing a competitive baseball game.
The Greenfield-Central graduate and Minnesota Twins prospect took the mound for a rehabilitation assignment Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla., marking his first start in nearly a year.
On July 22, 2011, Gibson pitched five innings for Triple-A Rochester at Victory Field against the Indianapolis Indians. Shortly thereafter, Gibson was placed on the disabled list with arm soreness, and he underwent Tommy John surgery on Sept. 7 to repair a torn elbow ligament.
Not since Gibson, 24, began playing tee-ball had he been away from the field for such an extended period.
“Being out of the game for a year, I can’t really say it was nice, because it’s never fun to not be able to do the thing that you love, but I was still being around the guys and being around the game, and that was good,” said Gibson, who threw 15 pitches in his rehab start Tuesday in the Gulf Coast League, facing the minimum three hitters in his one inning of work. “I think being able to do the rehab here at the spring training facility and knowing a lot of the guys that I’m doing rehab with made it go by a lot faster.”