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March 24, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Sights and sounds: Hisashi Iwakuma plays catch with a baseball

All-star right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma threw a baseball for the first time since being shut down with a strained tendon in his middle finger of his throwing hand. These were far from hard throws, more like tosses at about 70 percent effort.

He made 43 throws from 60 feet and his finger did not fall off. So that’s a good thing.

There were about 10 members of the Japanese media chronicling and videoing his every move.

“I felt good,” he said through translator Antony Suzuki. “The ball felt great going out off the finger. They wanted me to go lightly for six or seven minutes from 45 feet. That was the plan. I wanted to go out there and see where I was at and go from there, starting tomorrow.”

Iwakuma admitted he doesn’t have full flexibility in the finger yet.

“Hopefully soon,” he said. “It’s still stiff. We’re still working on full flexibility. I don’t have that range of motion yet, but it’s getting there.”

Iwakuma will play catch every day this week and go longer distance and longer time. On Monday, he will take the protective tape off the finger and play catch at a more intense rate.

Here’s some better video courtesy of the Mariners/Root Sports

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