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Tigers getting healthier, but no change for Dirks

DETROIT -- Aside from the most recent injury to closer Jose Valverde, the Tigers are progressively becoming a healthy ballclub. Alex Avila is set to return to the lineup Thursday, Drew Smyly will pitch three innings for Triple-A Toledo on Thursday and now it's down to Andy Dirks and the players with long-term injuries.

Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said there's still not much positive news to share on Dirks, who has been sidelined since May 31 right Achilles tendinitis.

"Andy's just treatment-only right now," Rand said. "He still has some residual soreness. He's just treatment and he's still in the walk boot at this time. No changes."

Rand also had updates on relievers Al Alburquerque and Daniel Schlereth. He said that Schlereth is continuing his rehab from left shoulder tendinitis in Denver, where he's progressed to throwing from 120 feet and is closing in on throwing off a mound.

Alburquerque, who has missed the entire season after undergoing surgery on his right elbow, is throwing in Lakeland, Fla., and completed a bullpen session Wednesday, which Rand did not yet have a report on.

DETROIT -- Aside from the most recent injury to closer Jose Valverde, the Tigers are progressively becoming a healthy ballclub. Alex Avila is set to return to the lineup Thursday, Drew Smyly will pitch three innings for Triple-A Toledo on Thursday and now it's down to Andy Dirks and the players with long-term injuries.

Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said there's still not much positive news to share on Dirks, who has been sidelined since May 31 right Achilles tendinitis.

"Andy's just treatment-only right now," Rand said. "He still has some residual soreness. He's just treatment and he's still in the walk boot at this time. No changes."

Rand also had updates on relievers Al Alburquerque and Daniel Schlereth. He said that Schlereth is continuing his rehab from left shoulder tendinitis in Denver, where he's progressed to throwing from 120 feet and is closing in on throwing off a mound.

Alburquerque, who has missed the entire season after undergoing surgery on his right elbow, is throwing in Lakeland, Fla., and completed a bullpen session Wednesday, which Rand did not yet have a report on.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.