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Norris could return to 'pen this weekend

MLB.com @mi_guardado

ANAHEIM -- Bud Norris is inching closer to rejoining the Angels' bullpen.

The veteran right-hander is slated to throw one inning in a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Thursday, putting him on track to potentially be activated from the disabled list as soon as Saturday.

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ANAHEIM -- Bud Norris is inching closer to rejoining the Angels' bullpen.

The veteran right-hander is slated to throw one inning in a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Thursday, putting him on track to potentially be activated from the disabled list as soon as Saturday.

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Norris, who has been sidelined since June 20, said he received a cortisone injection in his inflamed right knee and felt better during his bullpen session on Monday.

"I was excited with those results," Norris said. "I'll go pitch tomorrow and go from there."

Norris said he has not been informed whether he'll require more than one rehab outing, as the Angels want to wait to see how he does on Thursday before making a decision.

Before the injury, Norris had established himself as a key piece of the Angels' relief corp, ascending into the closer role and recording a 2.43 ERA with 11 saves over 33 1/3 innings.

Shoemaker update

Right-hander Matt Shoemaker (forearm strain) played catch on Wednesday and said he's aiming to throw a bullpen session on Thursday or Friday. Shoemaker said the outcome of that workout will determine the subsequent trajectory of his rehab.

"If I can throw a full-blown bullpen, we know we're good to go," Shoemaker said.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Shoemaker will "most likely" need to pitch in a rehab game before rejoining the Angels' rotation.

"It's still contingent on how the bullpens feel, how he feels, so it's tough to get a range right now," Scioscia said. "I will say that once he gets off the mound and he feels good in a bullpen, that's a huge step forward and you can start to chart things out. But we're there yet. Let's wait until we get there."

Worth noting

• Center fielder Mike Trout, who is recovering from a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, has been taking soft toss in the cage and could progress to taking batting practice on the field in the next couple days.

"That'll be an important milestone for him," Scioscia said.

Scioscia added that Trout will have to take four to six days of batting practice before he's ready to begin a rehab assignment.

• Left-hander Tyler Skaggs (right oblique strain) is scheduled to be reevaluated by the team's medical staff on Thursday. Skaggs had been slated to begin a rehab assignment on Saturday, but he was scratched from his start after experiencing renewed soreness in his abdominal area.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Angels, Bud Norris