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Ryan could return against Rangers

Ryan set to return against Rangers

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays have mapped out a tentative schedule for B.J. Ryan's return to the bullpen. Barring any setbacks, pitching coach Brad Arnsberg said the recovering closer could rejoin Toronto some time during the April 11-13 road series against the Texas Rangers.

On Thursday, Ryan threw in a bullpen session without any leftover issues from the tight left forearm that slowed his recovery earlier this spring. The plan going forward is for Ryan, who is expected to open the season on the 15-day disabled list, to have two days of rest between each of his next three mound sessions.

If everything goes according to plan, Ryan will then transition into an every-other-day schedule that could have him on pace to be activated in time for Toronto's series in Texas. Arnsberg emphasized that the plan outlined for Ryan, who underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his left elbow on May 10 of last year, was subject to change.

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Ryan entered Spring Training with the goal of breaking camp with the club in time for Opening Day. After his last Grapefruit League outing on March 17, though, the reliever complained of minor discomfort in his left forearm, leading the Blue Jays to hold him out of game action for the remainder of the spring.

While Ryan is sidelined, right-hander Jeremy Accardo will serve as Toronto's temporary closer. Following Ryan's injury last April, Accardo assumed the ninth-inning role and saved 30 games for the Blue Jays. Ryan, who signed a five-year deal worth $47 million with the Jays prior to the 2006 season, posted a 1.37 ERA with 38 saves in his first tour with Toronto.

Jordan Bastian 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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