Right-hander Chris Young, on the disabled list since the first week of the season with a strained right shoulder, will start Saturday against the Cardinals in a nationally televised game by FOX.
"This was a goal of mine," Young said. "But just going through it all [rehabilitation] and just being satisfied being out there isn't enough. I'm not going to take it for granted."
Young threw 5 2/3 innings in a Minor League rehabilitation game on Saturday for Class A Lake Elsinore. That followed two previous rehab stints with Triple-A Portland.
Young threw 75 pitches for Lake Elsinore and, the following day, said he felt good and that he was pleased with his command.
"[It was good] to find out where I stacked up, where my stuff was and how hitters responded," Young said. "I'm confident where my stuff is at."
Young said he didn't have the usual adrenaline before that last start in Lake Elsinore, though that won't be a problem come Saturday pitching in front of what figures to be a crowd of 40,000 or so.
"It will be there for sure, but I have to channel that and control the emotions," Young said.
Young, an All-Star in 2007, allowed one hit over six scoreless innings in his first and his only start of the season on April 6 against the D-backs at Chase Field. Young first felt pain in his shoulder the day after that start.
"I just know I'm happy for him," Padres manager Bud Black said. "When it looked bleak ... he never got his head down and felt sorry for himself. He worked his butt off."
What does Black expect from Young?
"Physically and mentally, he's going to be prepared to pitch," Black said.
Since Young is on the 60-day disabled list, the Padres will need to create a spot for him on the 40-man roster.