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Angels pitchers Tommy Hanson, Jason Vargas take steps toward return

July 10, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Tommy Hanson, left, who has been on the disabled list since June 26 because of a forearm strain, threw a bullpen session Wednesday. Jason Vargas, right, who underwent surgery to remove a blood clot in his left armpit, was cleared to resume throwing Tuesday.
Tommy Hanson, left, who has been on the disabled list since June 26 because… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images…)

CHICAGO — Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas, who represent two-thirds of the Angels rotation, both took significant steps in their return from injury this week.

Hanson, on the disabled list since June 26 because of a forearm strain, threw a 35-pitch bullpen session in Wrigley Field on Wednesday that left pitching coach Mike Butcher very encouraged about the right-hander.

“There was no hesitation of turning anything loose,” Butcher said. “The ball came out nicely. He threw some good sliders, changeups and breaking balls. It’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

Hanson, who has a 4-2 record and 5.10 earned run average, will throw another bullpen session in Seattle this weekend, and he could make a minor league start during the All-Star break next week.  There is a chance he could be ready to return by July 23, the day the Angels will need a fifth starter.

Vargas, who was 6-4 with a 3.65 ERA before undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot in his left armpit, was cleared by doctors to resume throwing Tuesday.

Manager Mike Scioscia said it will take a week to 10 days for Vargas to progress from long-toss to aggressive flat-ground work to a mound. The left-hander is expected to return by the end of July.

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