MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The Miami Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez is showing off to the media his rehab routine as he recovery from season-ending elbow surgery.

After he was given the okay by a Los Angeles doctor in September, Fernandez began his throwing program on Wednesday.

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In his first session, Fernandez only made 25 throws of 30 feet — half the distance from the mound to the plate. He did report he felt great after the brief workout.

Friday afternoon Fernandez took to the field at Marlins Park again, but this time he invited the media to see him throw.

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Fernandez was again limited to only 25 throws, which took a total of five minutes to complete.

“The progress in 4-1/2 months is really incredible,” Fernandez said.

If all goes well, Fernandez hopes to return around midseason in 2015.

“Maybe later, maybe before,” Fernandez said. “Who knows?”

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Tommy John surgery has a myth around it that pitchers come back stronger. But Fernandez said he going to rehab the right way and pitch smarter, not harder.

“I think I’m a way different pitcher now,” Fernandez said. “I see pitching a lot different. I’m learning so much. You become a lot smarter pitcher, I think, when you go through this.”

Playing it smart means he will listen to his doctors and not practice more than what is recommended.

Fernandez, who has 16-8 record with a sparkling 2.25 ERA through two seasons with the Fish, insists patience won’t be difficult.

“It feels like I was ready to pitch,” Fernandez said. “That’s how it feels now. But obviously, it’s a process. It’s a slow process. And I’m really happy it is a slow process, because I want to be here for a long time.”

Here is a brief look Fernandez pitching:

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