Perkins throws sim game, hopes to return Friday

Perkins throws sim game, hopes to return Friday

MINNEAPOLIS -- Glen Perkins threw a 31-pitch simulated game without any issues on Monday, and the Twins' closer is hopeful to make his return on Friday against the Angels.

Perkins, who has been out since Sept. 1 with a back strain, said the plan is to throw another bullpen session on Wednesday, and if that goes well, he'll be ready to return two days later. Perkins received a cortisone shot in his back last Wednesday, which has helped his back issue calm down.

"Hopefully on Wednesday I get through that," Perkins said. "If I feel like I can go out and pitch, I think by Friday I'll be fine. The intensity, my last 12 to 15 pitches, were pretty close to full out. I thought it was pretty good. I thought it was better than the time I pitched last against the White Sox [on Sept. 1]. Everything is smoother."

Twins manager Paul Molitor was pleased to see how Perkins fared in his bullpen session and noted he'd be a big addition to the club down the stretch. Kevin Jepsen will continue to close in Perkins' absence, and Perkins is also expected to be eased back into the closer's role with a few appearances as a setup reliever first.

"He went out there and I think he's feeling a lot better after that injection," Molitor said. "He threw 31 pitches today, and we joked he threw 31 because he didn't like his 30th pitch. But we'll get him back out there in a couple of days and hopefully he'll respond well and then we can think about getting him back into a game."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.