Kyle Hart working way back from Tommy John surgery

Kyle Hart spent the summer on the sidelines and he’s prepared to do the same over the fall.

It’s a long road back from Tommy John surgery, but Hart is nearing the midway point of the process. After undergoing the procedure in the spring to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament, Hart is still two months shy of throwing a bullpen session.

But the process is moving along as he hoped, with Hart still expecting to be ready to participate in time for the 2015 spring season.

“From what I’ve been told, by the time the season rolls around, I should be pretty much available,” Hart said. “Usually these things can take anywhere from 10-12 months, so I still have a long way to go, but the slow part is over. The summer rehab and no throwing — that part is over. I’m into the throwing stage of it and being in class, being in practice, being over (at Bart Kaufman Field) every day is kind of making it go a little faster.”

Before going down with the left elbow injury, Hart appeared in nine games, including six starts, compiling a 3-1 record and a 2.29 ERA. He held opponents to a .160 average, while yielding 19 hits over 35 1/3 innings.

Right now, he’s one of the many IU players adjusting to new coach Chris Lemonis, who is getting his first chance to work with his team as a whole this week during fall practice.

Through two official days, so far so good.

“Now we’re getting on the field together and learning the signs, learning the bunt defenses, learning some of the base running ins and outs and just some of the stuff that not all college baseball coaches do the same,” Hart said. “That’s where we’re at right now. Once we get over this week, week-and-a-half period of learning what we do at the beginning of practice, how we stretch, just where we need to be, that’s when we can really start honing in on team skills and even individual skills. We’ll start scrimmaging here in the next few days and that will really show where we’re at offensively, defensively and on the mound. Then we can kind of go from there to finish fall ball with really fine tuning.”