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Estrada improving, will throw bullpen session

PHOENIX -- Free from pain and discomfort on Friday a day after his back tightened up, Brewers right-hander Marco Estrada will throw a bullpen session Saturday at Chase Field.

The Brewers originally planned for Estrada, who has been sidelined since June 4 with a strained left hamstring, to throw live batting practice Saturday but canceled it after the 30-year-old said he woke up Thursday with his back "locked up."

So to help keep his back from becoming an issue moving forward, the Brewers will have Estrada throw a bullpen Saturday, and if that goes well, he'll then face live hitters. Once he completes that step, he'll begin the final stage of his rehab, a Minor League assignment.

"They just want to see how my back feels," Estrada said. "But to me, it feels fine. It was weird, but it wasn't the first time it has happened."

As for the hamstring injury that initially sent Estrada to the disabled list, he says it is no longer an issue.

"My hammy is feeling great, I've thrown two bullpens prior to coming up here and I haven't had any problems, so I think my hammy is 100 percent healed," Estrada said. "Now I just have to build up arm strength, and I should be good to go soon."

In addition to showing the higher-ups in the organization that he's healthy, this weekend gives Estrada a chance to hang out with his teammates again, something he has missed while going through rehab here in the desert.

"It's great to be around the guys," he said. "I live here [in Arizona], and it's nice to be home and all, but nothing beats being with the team. It's been a lot of fun, and I can't wait to get back on the mound."

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for
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