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Latos set for simulated game on Tuesday

PHILADELPHIA -- Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos threw off of a mound on Saturday for the third time since an April setback of a strained flexor mass tendon. Latos threw 35 pitches in the bullpen at Citizens Bank Park.

"Fantastic. I threw everything -- fastball, changeup, slider, curveball," Latos said. "I threw from the wind-up and I threw from the stretch."

On Tuesday in Washington, Latos is scheduled to face Reds hitters in a simulated game.

"I think the game plan is to see a righty and a lefty or a couple of righties and a couple of lefties in Washington," Latos said.

One of the lefty hitters will be right fielder Jay Bruce, who is also on the disabled list after he had left knee surgery on May 5.

"I think they wanted me to give Jay Bruce an ego boost before he comes back," Latos joked. "I'm going to go out there and lay it down the middle, and hopefully he hits four home runs off me so we can get him back as soon as possible."

Latos could begin a rehab assignment shortly after his simulated game, and an early June activation from the DL remains possible. But it's been a long process since his October elbow surgery to remove bone chips and a February surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

"I don't want to get too excited, because we've been down this road before and then I had that flare-up and setback," Latos said. "Knock on wood, but everything is going really well. It's going great. The bullpen sessions feel really good. The ball feels like it's jumping out of my hand. I feel like I've got good action on my pitches. I'm able to throw all of my pitches. It wasn't an issue beforehand, but it's still a good thing. We're still on the right track."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.
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