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Bumgarner ratchets up throwing intensity

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner can feel himself coming closer to being ready for game competition.

Bumgarner threw 40 pitches off a mound in a bullpen session Saturday without hindrance from his fractured left hand, which the Giants' ace called "95 percent or more" healed despite slight swelling. "Hitting, throwing, any baseball stuff feels normal," he added.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner can feel himself coming closer to being ready for game competition.

Bumgarner threw 40 pitches off a mound in a bullpen session Saturday without hindrance from his fractured left hand, which the Giants' ace called "95 percent or more" healed despite slight swelling. "Hitting, throwing, any baseball stuff feels normal," he added.

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Because the Giants want Bumgarner to be prepared to throw at least 75 pitches before he leaves the disabled list and makes his first regular season-start, he has maintained a somewhat accelerated throwing regimen.

"I'm trying to get it going as fast as I can," Bumgarner said. "That's a little bit different approach to it. Spring Training, I'd start out with a little more feel and not quite the same effort level. Here, I'm trying to throw at close to game-speed effort as you can in the bullpen at 10:30 in the morning."

Bumgarner remains scheduled to throw live batting practice in Houston next Tuesday, before making his first Minor League injury rehabilitation start next Saturday at Triple-A Sacramento against Albuquerque.

More injury updates

• Manager Bruce Bochy said that when right-hander Mark Melancon (right forearm) rejoins the bullpen, he'll pitch relatively early in games, and will be allowed to "settle in," indicating that he won't occupy a high-stress role right away.

• Right-hander Johnny Cueto (right elbow) will report to the Giants' Arizona training complex to rehab while the club begins a three-city, eight-game trip next week.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner