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Morrow feeling great, nearing simulated game

SAN FRANCISCO -- Padres pitcher Brandon Morrow played catch from 120 feet before Tuesday's game against the Giants and could advance to a simulated game later in the week.

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Morrow and interim manager Pat Murphy sounded optimistic Tuesday that Morrow is headed toward another Minor League rehabilitation stint in the near future.

"I think he's going to continue to play, have some bullpens and do a simulated [game] and probably send him off to a rehab assignment," Murphy said. "It doesn't look like it's too far off."

Morrow, on the disabled list since May 3 with inflammation in his right shoulder, left a rehab start with Double-A San Antonio early on June 7 after experiencing discomfort in his shoulder. An MRI showed no structural damage.

After a period of rest, Morrow resumed playing catch Friday while the Padres played a series in Phoenix against the D-backs. He played catch before each of the three games there before he took Monday off, as the team was off.

"I'm feeling great," Morrow said.

Morrow is encouraged that soreness that got to him June 7 won't reoccur, as the team has essentially identified the area -- the posterior rotator cuff area -- that gave him fits earlier this month and, subsequently, has designed exercises and therapy for that specific area.

"Instead of just getting the soreness out and getting back to it, [we're] taking care of the actual ailment, what may have been the root cause of the soreness and pain," Morrow said. "Compared to last time, the soreness is gone. But this time around, I'm feeling strong at the same time."

The Padres would no doubt like to get Morrow healthy and slide him back into the rotation, where he had a 2.73 ERA in five starts before landing on the disabled list. The same goes for Morrow.

"Definitely frustrating as far as the time off, but encouraged this time that I think we identified what the issue was and took the required steps to change that," he said.

• Murphy said the team could have some clarity by Wednesday on right-handed pitcher Josh Johnson, who had to cut short a simulated game last week due to tingling in the fingers of his right hand.

"We're about a day away from getting the total information we need to evaluate the results of his latest testing," Murphy said Tuesday of Johnson, who is not traveling with the team. "My guess is by tomorrow at some point, we'll have more information."

Johnson is working his way back from Tommy John surgery a year ago. He threw a simulated game April 28 but had nerve issues in his neck thereafter and had to halt his throwing program.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
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