Harden slated for first rehab start

Harden slated for first rehab start

Harden slated for first rehab start
OAKLAND -- Rich Harden is finally going to see his first game action since signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the A's in the offseason.

Sidelined all season with a strained latissimus dorsi muscle, Harden will make his first rehab start Monday with Triple-A Sacramento, A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Given the A's current situation with their rotation, Harden will be stretched out as a starter, a role he is accustomed to. Aside from Harden, four starters -- Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy and Tyson Ross -- are on the disabled list for various injuries to their throwing arms.

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While Harden will take the mound Monday in Sacramento, two of the other injured A's starters are working their way back from the disabled list.

Ross, who has been sidelined with a strained right oblique, threw another bullpen session before Friday's game. The righty tossed two simulated innings and, including warmups, threw roughly 70 pitches.

"It's coming along," Ross said. "My arm got out of shape for a minute there, but it's been feeling pretty strong. I got my command back the last two outings in the 'pen. I'm feeling pretty good."

Ross will next throw in four days when he will pitch a simulated game and face hitters for the first time since his injury on May 19. After that, it is unclear what the next step in his recovery will be, saying the team will take it one step at a time as long as his arm is feeling well.

Meanwhile, McCarthy, who has a stress reaction in his right shoulder, will throw against live hitters Saturday. The righty said his shoulder is feeling well so far and that he is scheduled to throw between 60 and 65 pitches from the mound.