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Gibson pushing forward despite innings limit

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Although right-hander Kyle Gibson will have his innings total monitored throughout the season because he's coming off Tommy John surgery, he said Thursday he'll have no restrictions in Spring Training.

Gibson, who underwent the procedure in September 2011, threw his first bullpen session on Wednesday and reported no problems. And he'll be on the same schedule as the rest of the pitchers in camp moving forward.

"It was a good day yesterday," Gibson said. "It was fun. It was nice to be in that Spring Training mode and not be on the sidelines like I was last year. It was fun to be a part of it and made me feel like I'm part of the team again."

Gibson, who is ranked as the club's No. 4 overall prospect, according to MLB.com, is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation. It's his second time in big league camp, as he was a non-roster invite in 2011.

But he'll have his innings cut short this season, as the Twins are expected to limit him to about 130-140 innings. There are no plans to use him as a reliever initially to limit that total, but the Twins could decide to start him slowly at Triple-A Rochester before giving him his first call to the big leagues.

Gibson, though, said he has his eyes set on making Minnesota's rotation but knows it's far from a given.

"Everybody's goal is to break camp and even when I was a non-roster invite in 2011, that was my goal," Gibson said. "So it's definitely a goal. I know I have to work hard to reach that goal and it won't be given to me."

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }