DETROIT -- While things are going in the right direction, it appears Anibal Sanchez would like to make a rehabilitation start before returning to pitch for the Tigers.
Sanchez threw to hitters before Thursday afternoon's game and was encouraged.
"I feel great," Sanchez said. "I feel everything's normal, everything's back on track so I think I'm just going to wait for the process. I threw like three innings today so I'm probably going to have another start for five innings, 60 pitches, something like that. After that, we see for back with the team."
Fellow Venezuelan Avisail Garcia was one of the players who stood in the batter's box while Sanchez pitched.
"He looked nasty, like always," Garcia said. "He's throwing good."
Sanchez said he threw approximately 40 pitches.
"I don't feel anything. I don't feel pain," Sanchez said. "If I don't have one thing for go to the mound, probably I'm not going to start. But everything's coming through, everything is nice and easy, my command is right there. I need to just wait for the process."
Sanchez said it wasn't a matter of being patient. He just wants to make sure he's fully ready before starting for the Tigers again.
"Take my time for my back to normal, for be available 100 percent on the mound," Sanchez said. "It's not about how much I want to be there. It's how I want to be there."
Sanchez said he believed he would throw again on Monday, but did not expect that to be with the team on the road trip.
"I think I go to Lakeland just for see what's gonna be there," Sanchez said. "I don't need be on high level, I just want to throw my pitches to get my 100 pitches back."
Sanchez has been on the15-day disabled list since June 16 with a right shoulder strain.
TUIASOSOPO HEALINGMatt Tuiasosopo, who went on the 15-day DL June 20 with a left intercostal muscle strain, is starting to do more things.
"I feel really good," Tuiasosopo said. "Everything's coming along really well. I'm doing some exercises the last couple days and I feel great afterward, the next day."
Tuiasosopo has not been cleared yet to start swinging.
"Hopefully soon," Tuiasosopo said. "During the game, I'll go down in the cage and act like I'm about to start swinging. I'm just holding my bat. I'm starting to get a little crazy down there in the dugout."
Tuiasosopo knows that with this injury, he can't afford to overdo things and re-injure himself.
"I've never had an oblique thing but they said you need to take the time to heal, don't want to overdo it with too much stuff," Tuiasosopo said. "That's why we're going just a little at a time. Wish I could go swing today. I feel right now like I could go down and swing."
Even though he feels good, Tuiasosopo has been warned by Austin Jackson, who went through a similar injury last season that kept him out a long time.
"He told me don't do it," Tuiasosopo said. "He said, 'You're going to feel great like you can go down there and swing, but nope. It won't work.' I'll just do what they tell me. The biggest thing is I want it to be gone, I don't want it to come back. Just take the time and hope it doesn't go longer than the 15."
BULLPEN REPORTManager Jim Leyland was hopeful that starter Doug Fister would go deep in the game as the bullpen has been used a lot of late.
"(Evan) Reed's probably not available," Leyland said. "Downs is not available so we're a little strapped."