"This is the part you miss the most," Tomlin said, "Being able to compete and hang out with these guys. Going through the grind with them every day is what it's all about. Not being able to do that is kind of tough."
Tomlin, who had his right elbow surgically repaired in August, will head back to Cleveland's training complex in Arizona on Wednesday to continue his rehab program, which includes throwing four times each week. His weekly schedule includes a pair of 60-pitch bullpen sessions throwing only fastballs and changeups for the time being.
On Tuesday, Tomlin will throw off the mound in a bullpen session in front of Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway and head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff.
"Back in Spring Training, we kind of decided that this would be a good time for him to pop in," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It'll kind of give him a little pick-me-up before he gets back out to Arizona, and it lets him being around the guys a little bit. They love seeing him."
Tomlin, 28, enjoyed a breakout season with the Indians in 2011, when he went 12-7 with a 4.25 ERA across 26 starts. Last year, the right-hander went 5-8 with a 6.36 ERA in 21 appearances before going under the knife on Aug. 21. Tommy John surgery typically requires 12-18 months of recovery, and Tomlin said his hope is to be cleared for a Minor League rehab assignment before the end of this season.
"That's the goal," Tomlin said. "I haven't had any setbacks, thank God. It feels good, for sure. The rehab process is what it is. There's a reason why it's set this long and a reason you do the things you do -- so you don't have any setbacks. For me, it's understanding the process takes a year and not trying to do too much to try to push it."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.