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Colon on target to return to A's on Thursday in Detroit

DETROIT -- The A's plan to welcome back Bartolo Colon to their rotation in Detroit on Thursday.

That's the same day they're slated to face 19-game winner Max Scherzer, so consider the return of one of their own best pitchers to be rather good timing.

A's manager Bob Melvin said there likely won't be any limitations with Colon, who has been recovering from a strained left groin.

"We'll see, play it by ear with him," Melvin said Tuesday. "He was a little worn down before the groin became an issue. He wasn't pitching his best, so we'll monitor him and see what he has to offer early on. Usually he tells you early in the game what kind of stuff he has."

Colon was without the good kind of stuff in the two starts leading to his DL stint, giving up 10 earned runs in a combined 6 2/3 innings over that span. He had surrendered just nine earned runs in his previous 49 1/3 innings over seven starts.

Still, the 40-year-old's 2.97 ERA ranked seventh in the American League going into Tuesday, and the prospect of having the dominant version of Colon back is an encouraging one for an A's team that has watched its rotation struggle to be consistent as of late.

Before the All-Star break, A's starters combined for a 3.86 ERA, third best in the AL. Since, they've posted a 4.11 ERA, which ranks 10th in the league.

Jane Lee is a reporter for
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