New Angels reliever Ryan Madson experienced soreness in his surgically repaired elbow after a Feb. 1 bullpen session and hasn’t thrown since, the right-hander said Monday, the day before the team’s first spring-training workout for pitchers and catchers.

Madson, the former Philadelphia Phillies closer who missed the entire 2012 season because of Tommy John surgery, considers the setback a normal part of the 12-month recovery process but admitted to being discouraged by it.

“I’m a little disappointed right now,” said Madson, who signed a one-year, $3.5-million deal with the Angels in November and is expected to be the team’s closer. “I didn’t want there to be any hang-ups.”

Madson still held out hope that he would be ready by the April 1 season opener in Cincinnati, but the chances of that appear slim. Even before this setback, the team had mapped out a conservative schedule that had Madson pitching in exhibition games by mid-March and being regular-season ready in mid-April.

If Madson can regain his 2011 form, when he went 4-2 with a 2.37 earned run average and 32 saves in 34 chances, he will fortify a bullpen that includes hard-throwing right-handers Ernesto Frieri and Kevin Jepsen and veteran lefties Scott Downs and Sean Burnett.