VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Perhaps tired of waiting for the pain in his surgically repaired right shoulder to subside, Jason Schmidt has now chosen to ignore it. On the advice of his trainers, Schmidt will now defy convention and pitch -- within reason -- through whatever pain he might experience for the remainder of Spring Training.

"We're just going to try to throw a little more through it," Schmidt said of the pain. "Instead of babying it so much, we're going to push it."

Schmidt's season ended last June when he had surgery to repair multiple tears in his pitching shoulder. Since then, the prognosis has wavered. One morning, Schmidt seems ready for Opening Day. The next, he's not so sure.

Back in early February, after Schmidt had progressed enough to begin throwing off a mound, fatigue set in and the Dodgers shut him down for three days. That's the type of precaution that he says won't continue to occur.

"As long as they're not panicking," Schmidt said of the Dodgers training staff, "I'm not panicking."

Instead, he'll continue his current program of throwing off flat ground and playing catch from a mound -- even if minor pains flare up. That, Schmidt hopes, should get him back into the rotation sooner rather than later. He's just not sure how soon that might be.

"All I can say is the sooner the better," Schmidt said. "But I couldn't put a date on that. It doesn't work that way."