HOUSTON -- Pitcher Jesse Crain, who began the season on the disabled list while he recovers from October surgery for biceps tendinitis, will head to Kissimmee, Fla., on Monday to continue his rehab at the team's complex at Osceola County Stadium.
Crain, who didn't pitch in the second half of the 2013 season after being traded by the White Sox to the Rays, is hoping to return to action by May. He's thrown once in the bullpen and plans to get on the mound again next week in Florida.
"That's the plan," Crain said. "When it's ready, I'll be back here."
The Astros continue to take caution with Crain, who signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal to pitch for his hometown team.
Crain was an All-Star during a 2013 season in which he posted a 0.74 ERA in 38 games with the White Sox, striking out 46 and walking only 11 in 36 2/3 innings, including a 29-inning scoreless streak.
"I wanted to be back at the beginning of the year, but you've got to take it day by day, because you never know," he said. "Everything could be going great, and then you wake up one day and it doesn't feel good. I've been dealing with [this] since the middle of last year."
Watching his teammates get key outs late in games during the first two games of the season has increased Crain's thirst to compete.
"Seeing these guys the past two days and being here, it for sure makes me want to be out there," he said. "The grand scheme of things, maybe it's better for me to go out there and make sure I can do my work without overdoing it and maybe getting out there sooner than I should."
Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.