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Ausmus: Rondon's return to Majors still long ways off

DETROIT -- Right-handed reliever Bruce Rondon was expected to pick up a ball and throw before Friday's game against the White Sox, but his potential return remains uncertain.

Before the game, manager Brad Ausmus said Rondon, who is dealing with biceps tendinitis, was scheduled to throw, but he's going to have to throw on back-to-back days without problems, and then there would be a rehab assignment.

"He'd have to pitch in games, for sure," Ausmus said.

Rondon missed the entire 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He was sidelined earlier this month due to soreness, and Ausmus said it was very common in spring.

Rondon appeared in eight Grapefruit League games, posting a 4.91 ERA over 7 1/3 innings, but he didn't pitch in consecutive games and began the season on the 15-day disabled list. He was scheduled to throw last weekend, but a flare-up led the Tigers to shut him down again and focus on treatment until he was asymptomatic. An MRI showed no structural damage.

"He was going to do back-to-back [days], and then this flared up that day," Ausmus said. "He was supposed to pitch the second of two. He definitely would have to pitch in games and have to go back-to-back [games], see how he responds."

Chris Vannini is a contributor to
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