Boxberger, who led the American League with 41 saves in 2015, had adductor surgery in the spring. After making a total of six rehab appearances between three levels, the Rays deemed him healthy enough to return.
"The hardest thing was the patience," Boxberger said. "Trying to get my work in. I was feeling good. They wanted me to be 100 percent and ready to go."
Rays manager Kevin Cash saiaid they feel as though they've "gotten considerably better with Brad coming back."
When asked about how he'll be used, Cash answered: "I think it's fair to say that we'll work Boxy back into the closer's role rather than just sticking him in there."
Boxberger said he had no expectations regarding how he's used.
"They just said kind of be ready from the midway part of the game on. I'm fine with whenever they want to put me in," Boxberger said. "Just so I can get back out there and get my feet wet and get back on the mound.
"...I just expect to go back out there and take the ball in whatever situation I'm in. If that's in the ninth, great. If not then we'll go from there. Take every day as a new day and just try and help my team any way I can."
Alex Colome has served as the team's closer in Boxberger's absence and has thrived, recording 12 saves, three of which consisted of four outs or more, while pitching to a 1.23 ERA in 20 games. Despite his success, he's not going to ruffle any feathers about Boxberger re-claiming his role at the back end of the bullpen.
"I don't care if I go in the seventh or eighth," Colome said. "Same approach. ... The bullpen is much better now."
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.