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Orioles expecting Chen to return in early July

DETROIT -- Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin Chen could rejoin the team before the All-Star break as the lefty continues to progress favorably from a left oblique strain.

"If everything goes well, he'd be an option for us in early July," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said on Monday. "First week of July."

Chen, who is at the team's spring facility in Sarasota, Fla., threw a 45-pitch bullpen session on Monday and will throw a simulated gamed on Thursday. Showalter said Chen, who has now thrown off a full mound twice, would have another simulated game after that.

Chen was placed on the disabled list on May 14 (retroactive to May 13) and went 3-3 with a 3.04 ERA in his first eight starts.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli.
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