Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 6/8/13
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said left-hander David Price could return late June or early July after completing rehab work from a left triceps strain.Maddon, speaking before a game between the Rays and Baltimore Orioles on Saturday at Tropicana Field, offered an update after the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner threw his first bullpen session Friday evening. Were trying to do it as though he is on a five-day rotation, Maddon said. Then hell come back (after the bullpen session), have a couple days off, and then hell come back in a simulated game. Once he gets a simulated game, hell be ready to go out and be stretched.Maddon said Price will likely face three rehab assignment starts, before returning within the estimated late Juneearly July window. The pitcher has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 16, a day after he sustained the injury in an abbreviated start against the Boston Red Sox.Price threw 38 pitches from the mound Friday with head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield, pitching coach Jim Hickey and left-hander Matt Moore watching close by. Price said he felt good and that it is a big step. He has plans to throw again Monday. I woke up pretty early this morning, Price said Friday. I was excited for it. It was a good day. Price has not traveled with the Rays since sustaining the injury. It is the first disabled list stint of his career. Before Tampa Bays 2-1 victory over Baltimore on Friday, Maddon said he had not talked to Porterfield about the session but knew the trainer was pleased with Prices progress.I know that he has been throwing well, Maddon said of Price then.Price is 1-4 with a 5.24 ERA in nine starts this season.Its a process, Price said. Like Ron continually tells me and explains to everybody else, Whenever David comes back, we want him to stay back. Thats the way theyre looking at it. They want to make sure Im 100 percent healthy whenever Im coming back to make sure Im here so I can go the rest of the season. You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.
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