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Graveman returning to start finale vs. Angels

MLB.com @JaneMLB

ANAHEIM -- A's right-hander Kendall Graveman will return from the disabled list Thursday to start the series finale at Angel Stadium.

The team's Opening Day starter was forced to miss one start because of a minor right shoulder injury, but he is now in the clear after throwing a 42-pitch bullpen session without any issues Monday.

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ANAHEIM -- A's right-hander Kendall Graveman will return from the disabled list Thursday to start the series finale at Angel Stadium.

The team's Opening Day starter was forced to miss one start because of a minor right shoulder injury, but he is now in the clear after throwing a 42-pitch bullpen session without any issues Monday.

View Full Game Coverage

Graveman can now resume a season that began with so much promise, as he was 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his first three starts before landing on the DL.

"It's better to do it and have it not be a two-month ordeal," Graveman said. "I think we got over the hump quickly, and we're in a good spot now.

"It was the right decision to make, a tough decision, because I felt like I could've gone out and competed still, but that just goes to show, when we have depth as a starting rotation, that we can do things like this."

With Graveman going Thursday, right-hander Jharel Cotton will pitch Friday's opener in Houston. Another starter on the mend, Sonny Gray, is expected back next week in Minnesota. Oakland's ace, set for a rehab start with Triple-A Nashville on Thursday, is recovering from a lat strain.

"It'll be nice getting guys off the DL," A's manager Bob Melvin said, "as opposed to adding guys."

Worth noting

John Axford (shoulder) is playing catch and "feeling a lot better," according to Melvin. Axford could join the club at some point during this nine-game road swing when he's cleared to throw off the mound.

Daniel Mengden (foot surgery) will be in Stockton on Wednesday to throw a 40-pitch bullpen session.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

Oakland Athletics, Kendall Graveman