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Musgrove targeting weekend start for return

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

KANSAS CITY -- The Astros are hoping right-hander Joe Musgrove -- on the disabled list since May 27 with shoulder discomfort -- can return to the rotation this weekend against the Angels in Houston. Musgrove will miss his second consecutive start on Tuesday, but he is making strides.

Musgrove, who had trouble moving his arm for two days after receiving a cortisone shot on Thursday, played some low-intensity catch at 70-90 feet on Monday, and said he felt no pain. Musgrove is targeting returning to the rotation on Sunday.

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KANSAS CITY -- The Astros are hoping right-hander Joe Musgrove -- on the disabled list since May 27 with shoulder discomfort -- can return to the rotation this weekend against the Angels in Houston. Musgrove will miss his second consecutive start on Tuesday, but he is making strides.

Musgrove, who had trouble moving his arm for two days after receiving a cortisone shot on Thursday, played some low-intensity catch at 70-90 feet on Monday, and said he felt no pain. Musgrove is targeting returning to the rotation on Sunday.

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"As long as I keep staying pain-free, we're going to go out and kind of increase the volume and intensity a little more each day, and hopefully get on the mound by Thursday and throw a bullpen, spin everything -- changeups, curveballs, some sliders," he said. "If everything stays well, I talked to the trainers and they feel like I could be back in the rotation."

Musgrove (4-4, 4.89 ERA) came down with shoulder discomfort while preparing for his bullpen session two days after throwing a season-high 102 pitches in seven scoreless innings on May 26 against the Orioles.

"We'll gauge his availability and readiness for the Anaheim start," manager A.J. Hinch said. "For right now, it's just really getting him up and running with the throwing program, and making sure he's bouncing back fine."

Worth noting
• Right-hander Collin McHugh, on the disabled list since the end of spring with a posterior impingement in his right elbow, has thrown about 15-20 pitches off the mound four times -- fastballs and changeups only -- and he hopes to work in some breaking balls this week.

"Once I can throw all my pitches, it's just a matter of getting a couple of bullpens under my belt, feeling comfortable enough to see some live hitters and do a live BP or two, and then go out on rehab," McHugh said. "I don't know what the timetable for that is necessarily, but it's a little clearer today than it was two weeks ago."

McHugh is hoping to be close to being able to face Major League hitters around the All-Star break.

"I want to contribute," he said. "I'm tired of seeing these guys be so good from the sidelines and not feeling like I have some skin in the game."

• Right-hander Charlie Morton, on the disabled list since May 27 with a lat strain, said he will be evaluated on Tuesday to see if he can play catch for the first time since his injury. He's been getting in his running and doing upper-body exercises, but he hasn't thrown yet.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for M/LB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Houston Astros, Joe Musgrove