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Perkins feels good after bullpen session, hopes to return Friday

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Injured Twins closer Glen Perkins has cleared a big hurdle as he tries to come back from the back spasms that have kept him sidelined since Sept. 1.

Perkins threw 31 pitches in a bullpen session Monday and didn't have any issues.

The plan is for Perkins to throw another bullpen on Wednesday and he could be available to pitch in a game as early as Friday.

In a radio interview with 1500 ESPN, Perkins said he felt good after Monday's session.

"It was a really good first step," Perkins told the radio station. "Especially pitches 16-31 felt better than the first 15, so that's good. Everything held up. Arm felt good, extension, all those things. Just being able to bend over while I was throwing, it went well."

Perkins received two cortisone injections on into his lower back on Sept. 9, to help with the back spasms.

"It's been a progression of activity over the last few days and I haven't had any setbacks or anything like that," Perkins told 1500 ESPN. "Hopefully the way I feel now is a sign of how I'll feel [Tuesday]."

Perkins has been on the shelf for much of the second half of the season. First he was sidelined with a bulging disc in his neck. Shortly after receiving a cortisone treatment for that, Perkins was slowed by the back spasms.

He has 32 saves on the season, but Kevin Jepsen has been closing games in his absence. Twins manager Paul Moltior said it would take multiple relief appearances for Perkins in a middle relief role before he regains the closer role.

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