- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ANAHEIM, CALIF. (AP) - Former Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy made his long-awaited return to the Chicago White Sox rotation Wednesday night after getting activated from the 15-day disabled list _ 10 months after he had season-ending shoulder surgery.

“I think it’s exciting for everyone to see him back on the mound,” manager Ozzie Guillen said before the finale of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. “I feel very happy because this guy went through a lot to be here today _ the surgery, the rehab assignments, traveling all over the country to see different doctors, getting more treatment and more treatment. Finally this day has arrived, and hopefully he can stay here all year long and help us.”

Peavy detached a muscle in his right shoulder against the Angels July 6 and had surgery eight days later.

“The way he walked off the mound that night against us, you knew it was serious,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday.

Peavy made five rehabilitation starts with Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. He had a slight setback during that stretch because of shoulder discomfort, resulting in an 11-day wait between outings.

The 29-year-old right-hander, a two-time All-Star who won the Cy Young Award with San Diego in 2007, was acquired in a trade with the Padres on July 31, 2009, going 10-6 with a 4.11 ERA in 20 starts for the White Sox. He was 7-6 with a 4.63 ERA in 17 starts last season. Guillen said there would be no designated pitch limit on Peavy in his first game back.

“I’m not expecting him to throw nine innings,” Guillen said. “But I expect him to throw five or six, and that when he leaves the mound, he’ll be healthy. That’s what we’re looking for. He worked so hard, so quick to be back. He did everything the doctors said, everything the trainers said, everything the general manager said, everything the pitching coach said, and he did it right. That’s why I have more respect for him than anybody else.”

Peavy won the major league ERA title in 2004 and 2007, the same year he led the majors in strikeouts. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, the White Sox designated reliever Jeff Gray for assignment. The 29-year-old right-hander allowed four earned runs in 13 1-3 innings over his six appearances, including three scoreless innings Tuesday night in Chicago’s 6-2 loss.

“It was a very tough decision, maybe one of the toughest you can even make,” Guillen said. “But sometimes you have to make decisions that are very hard. We talked about different ways to look at it, and unfortunately, that’s the decision we made and it’s best for the ballclub. But this kid was great. I was worried about losing him, and I hope we can keep him down there and he can come back here pretty soon.”