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Cecil throws off mound, eyes rehab assignment

Cecil throws off mound, eyes rehab assignment

TORONTO -- Left-hander Brett Cecil threw off a mound on Friday afternoon for the first time since aggravating a groin injury in New York.

Cecil felt fine after the brief session and hopes to go on a rehab assignment in the near future. A tentative plan would see the reliever join Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday and then make his return at some point during Toronto's upcoming West Coast trip against the A's and Angels.

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The 27-year-old hasn't pitched since he continued to feel some discomfort while pitching on June 18 vs. the Yankees. Cecil originally suffered the groin injury during a game against the Orioles and after sitting out a few days he attempted to pitch, but it didn't work out.

"We'll see how he feels, it shouldn't be long before he goes out and throws a couple of games," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

In other injury news, Jose Bautista remains on schedule to test his strained left hamstring prior to Saturday afternoon's game vs. the White Sox. Bautista will go through a series of running drills, and at that point it will be determined whether he can return to the lineup or will possibly require a stint on the disabled list.

The earliest Bautista could return appears to be Sunday, but with an off-day coming on Monday it's possible the Blue Jays will wait an additional couple of days to give him more time to recover. Bautista has been out since June 22 after he aggravated the injury during a game against the Reds.

"I wouldn't expect [him to play Saturday]," Gibbons said. "Let him run around, get his treatment and hopefully the next day. That'd be my guess. He'll heat it up, and then you cool off waiting to play the game. You never know how that affects you. You don't want a setback."

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.

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