SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada has overcome a significant hurdle in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Manager Buck Showalter said Thursday that Wada has completed the rehab portion of his return and will now work toward getting game ready.

“Now he’s going to progress to baseball function ability,” Showalter said after watching Wada throw a bullpen session on Thursday morning. “The breaking ball is going to start. It’s exciting watching him throw. Now we can move to the next part of it, which is the baseball part of it – locating his pitches, spinning the ball. It’s more, ‘I’m working on something that helps me get people out’ as opposed to, ‘Am I healthy?’”

Wada, who signed a two-year, $8.15 million deal before the 2012 season, has yet to pitch in a regular season game for the Orioles. He was limited to just five spring training innings last season because of elbow soreness and needed Tommy John surgery following a rocky one-inning rehab outing in April. He had the season ending procedure done on May 11.

“He’s ready for the next step,” Showalter said. “And that’s getting ready to pitch in baseball games for us.”