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Smyly on target to return by April 29 from tendinitis

Left-hander made first rehab start Thursday, scheduled to pitch again Tuesday

MIAMI -- If all goes well, Drew Smyly (left shoulder tendinitis) could be back with the team by April 29.

Smyly pitched two innings for Class A Charlotte in his first rehab start on Thursday. He will pitch again for Charlotte on Tuesday night.

Previously, manager Kevin Cash said that they had not yet decided whether they would bring back Smyly early -- once he reached the 75-pitch plateau -- or if they would wait until the left-hander was fully stretched out to 100-plus pitches. On Sunday, the Rays' manager tipped his hand for how the club is now thinking on that front.

"I would say we're leaning towards building him all the way up," Cash said. "Simply because, part of the reason he had maybe a setback was because he wasn't able to get totally built up in the offseason. Nothing's defined. He feels great, which is a good thing. But we want to make sure we do it right."

Cash said that equates to four rehab starts for Smyly before he can return, which creates the possibility that the left-hander's first start for the Rays would come in an afternoon game at Yankee Stadium on April 29.

Meanwhile, others on the DL continue to progress.

Right-hander Alex Colome (pneumonia) pitched three scoreless innings for Charlotte on Saturday night and came away feeling fine.

Right-hander Ronald Belisario (left shoulder fracture) pitched two innings in an extended spring intrasquad game Friday. He will pitch in an extended game on Monday.

John Jaso (left wrist contusion) remains on the DL. Cash said the swelling on Jaso's wrist has gone down, but he has not yet started swinging a bat. Cash also said there was nothing new on James Loney (oblique).

Cash did not know when Alex Cobb (right forearm tendinitis) will pitch from a mound. To date, his only activity has been playing catch.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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