Reliever Perez nearing return to mound after setback

Reliever Perez nearing return to mound after setback

Reliever Perez nearing return to mound after setback

TORONTO -- Blue Jays left-hander Luis Perez is once again nearing a return to the mound after suffering a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery earlier this season.

Perez underwent the procedure last July and was expected to be out of action for approximately 12 months. He returned to the mound in a rehab assignment on June 10, but experienced some discomfort after throwing two scoreless innings for Class A Dunedin and was promptly shutdown.

The 28-year-old then went through a brief period of rest and recovery before he was able to resume throwing. He has been working out at the Blue Jays' Minor League complex and another rehab assignment could begin as early as next week, according to general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

That would give Perez an opportunity to return to the Major Leagues before the end of the season. Perez is out of options, and Toronto would like to observe his progress in a big league setting in order to get a better feel for how he'll look next spring.

Perez was one of the more reliable relievers for former Blue Jays manager John Farrell in 2012. The Dominican native posted a 3.43 ERA while striking out 39 in 42 innings of work. With the likely departure of veteran left-hander Darren Oliver at the end of the season, Perez becomes the likely candidate to fill the void while joining fellow southpaws Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup in the bullpen.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.