John Danks threw pitches Thursday in front of Chicago White Sox coaches and front office members for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery over the summer.

For the left-hander, who is determined be on the Opening Day roster on April 1, it was another small step in the rehab process, with a number of big steps to come before the team leaves the desert to start the season.

"It felt real good," Danks said. "It's encouraging to be able to go out there and throw all four pitches and feel good afterward. I don't know exactly how many pitches I threw, but I feel good about things. It's obviously the first one but it's good to get out there."

Danks has been throwing near his Texas home, first playing long toss in a parking lot before graduating to some sessions from a mound. He has been throwing 40 pitches from a mound three times a week since the start of the new year. In that sense, he hasn't reached a new level of progression.

What was key Thursday is that everybody else could see for themselves that the reports were true and that Danks is well on his way to regaining his spot in the rotation.

"He came in better than I thought he would," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "I'm pleased with where he's at today. Now my sights are continuing to look forward and continue to climb with everybody else."