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Hellickson-Hanigan battery on tap for Charlotte

Rays righty, catcher slated to play first rehab game Saturday at Class A

ST. PETERSBURG -- Injured Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson is on schedule to make his first rehab start Saturday for Class A Charlotte, manager Joe Maddon said Thursday, and he might be throwing to his rehabbing teammate, catcher Ryan Hanigan.

Maddon said Hellickson, who is recovering from offseason arthroscopic elbow surgery, is set to throw three innings or 50 pitches on Saturday, with two more starts -- one likely five innings or 75 pitches, the next six innings or 90 pitches -- to follow. The hope is that after three rehab starts, Hellickson will be able to rejoin the club.

Maddon said that Hanigan, who is rehabbing a right hamstring strain, might well be behind the dish when Hellickson makes his first start.

"If everything is well, he will catch on Saturday -- if everything holds up," Maddon said.

Maddon said Hanigan will likely play one or two games in the Minors before he is eligible to return next Wednesday. The manager said what has been giving Hanigan trouble is not so much running, but the quick movement of getting up and down a lot as a catcher.

David Adler is an associate reporter for
Read More: Tampa Bay Rays, Ryan Hanigan, Jeremy Hellickson