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Twins pitcher Ricky Nolasco to make a rehab start in Cedar Rapids

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The Minnesota Twins are sending Ricky Nolasco back to the minors for a rehab assignment as he continues to work his way back from the inflammation in his elbow that landed him on the 15-day disabled list.

The Twins said Monday that Nolasco would head to Class A Cedar Rapids to start on Saturday.

Nolasco threw a bullpen session on Sunday, and all indications are that session went well for the Twins right hander.

"Nolasco threw good (Sunday)," said Twins general manager Terry Ryan. "So we'll send him out on a rehab assignment on Saturday."

Nolasco was bothered by the elbow in his only start of the regular season on April 8 at Detroit. He reported the trouble to the Twins' trainers and was immediately placed on the 15-day disabled list.

He had an MRI on April 9, which didn't find anything structurally wrong, but did show some inflammation in Nolasco's elbow. The Pioneer Press reports the team initially hoped Nolasco would be able to return without having to make a rehab start.

"We thought about it," Ryan said on Sunday. "But we think this is better. This will give him a chance to work any of the kinks out from being out for 15 days."

According to 1500 ESPN, Nolasco would have been eligible to return from the DL on Friday, but that will not happen now with the rehab start.

Trevor May has pitched well in Nolasco's absence; he picked up the win in Sunday's 7-2 victory over Cleveland. May could contend to stay in the rotation when Nolasco returns, and that could mean another move to the bullpen for Mike Pelfrey.

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