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Wilson, Benoit ready for action

Wilson, Benoit ready for action

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitchers C.J. Wilson and Joaquin Benoit both threw in the bullpen on Wednesday without problem and are expected to pitch in a Minor League game on Saturday.

Wilson, who has made one appearance in a Cactus League game on Feb. 29, has been sidelined with biceps tendinitis, and Benoit has not pitched in an "A" game at all because of soreness in his right shoulder.

"I'm pleased with both," pitching coach Mark Connor said. "Joaquin let go of the ball pretty good and so did C.J. We're going to pitch them in a Minor League game just to be able to control their pitches and not have them go out and do something crazy. We'll know more after that."

Kevin Millwood (strained hamstring) also threw in the bullpen without problem, but the Rangers aren't sure if he'll pitch in a Minor League game on Saturday or the "A" game against the Colorado Rockies.

Rookie right-hander Eric Hurley could get the start against the Rockies if Millwood pitches in a Minor League game.

"That's something we're discussing," Connor said.

Millwood will throw another bullpen session on Thursday and go through some fielding drills before the Rangers make a decision. Millwood is the Rangers' scheduled Opening Day starter on March 31, against the Seattle Mariners, but has yet to pitch in a Cactus League game. He has pitched a total of five innings in simulated games. He has three more starts in Spring Training before his start against the Mariners.

Connor said pitcher Vicente Padilla was feeling better on Wednesday, one day after coming out of his start against the White Sox with a slightly strained hip muscle. Padilla is still scheduled to start on Sunday against the Oakland Athletics.

"Hopefully he won't miss that unless something drastic happens," Connor said.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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