Delabar, McGowan nearing return to bullpen

Delabar, McGowan nearing return to bullpen

Delabar, McGowan nearing return to bullpen

HOUSTON -- Right-handed relievers Steve Delabar and Dustin McGowan could make their return to the Blue Jays' bullpen within a couple of weeks.

McGowan has been out since the July 29 with a strained oblique muscle, while Delabar was lost a couple of days later because of inflammation in his right shoulder.

Josh Johnson, Maicer Izturis, Brandon Morrow and Melky Cabrera are all out for the season, but the Blue Jays remain optimistic that their two relievers will get some additional innings under their belt before the end of the year.

"I would think so," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said." [McGowan's] playing catch and Delabar, he was on the mound a few days ago so he is moving along. I would expect we'd see both of them in a couple of weeks.

"We miss those two coming out of there. They were both good against some tough righties."

Delabar was in the middle of a breakout season when he went down with an injury. He was voted into the All-Star Game and has posted an impressive 2.90 ERA while striking out 75 batters in 49 2/3 innings.

McGowan finally got healthy this season after previously appearing in five games since 2008 because of a variety of injuries. That changed when he suffered a strained oblique, but he'll want to make it back this season to increase on his 17 innings in order to better prepare for 2014.

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.