Zimmermann progressing to simulated game

Tigers starter reports no issues after throwing off mound on Tuesday

Zimmermann progressing to simulated game

DETROIT -- Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann wants to take his injury rehab slow and cautious after rushing back from a neck strain too soon last week. Still, the right-hander has made enough progress that he could throw a simulated game on Sunday.

Zimmermann, who is on the 15-day disabled list, threw off a mound for the first time on Tuesday afternoon during a bullpen session of 20 fastballs at Comerica Park. He said afterwards that he felt good and hopes to throw another mound session on Thursday morning.

"This is my fourth day of throwing, and I've had really no issues," said Zimmermann, who had been long-tossing the previous few days since rejoining the team last weekend in Texas.

If the simulated game goes well, it's conceivable Zimmermann could go on a Minor League rehab assignment next week while the Tigers head to Minnesota. However, manager Brad Ausmus said on Tuesday that he'll likely need multiple starts. He made two starts last month during his initial return from neck issues, but didn't pitch longer than four innings in either.

"I guess we're going to take it pretty slow this time, it sounds like," Zimmermann said.

Fellow injured Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey, meanwhile, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday as he progresses from a strained back.

Worth noting
Jose Iglesias, who went on the 15-day DL on Friday with a strained left hamstring, said on Tuesday that he has been progressing quickly. He felt progress running the last two days on an anti-gravity treadmill. "I'm feeling better every day," Iglesias said.

• Center fielder Cameron Maybin, who went on the 15-day DL just over a week ago with a left thumb sprain, continues to take fly balls during batting practice as well as throw. He's expected to try grabbing a bat and swinging in the next few days.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.