JUPITER, Fla. -- The command and movement of his pitches were sharper on Thursday night, but Twins right-hander Carl Pavano is still struggling to regain his velocity.
In a rehab assignment with Class A Fort Myers, Pavano threw three scoreless innings, striking out two while allowing two singles against the Jupiter Hammerheads at Roger Dean Stadium.
Pavano reached 40 pitches, and he was scheduled to throw 45, so he did some more work in the bullpen after exiting the game.
"My stuff definitely was better and a little sharper today, but the velocity is still down," said Pavano, who went on the disabled list on June 4 with a right shoulder strain. "For me, I'd like to see the velocity come back a little more. But I was locating my pitches a lot better than I had in my last two starts. So that's important."
Pavano's fastball is reaching 85-86 mph, which is a concern.
"Overall, my shoulder feels better," the 36-year-old said. "I'm just dealing with it just being a little dead, where it's just not coming alive as quick as I'd like to."
Due to rain, Pavano had been in a holding pattern for a few days. He threw two innings against the Hammerheads on Aug. 7, and had to deal with a couple of rainouts before facing Jupiter again on Thursday.
Pavano is scheduled to throw another rehab game on Tuesday. He remains hopeful that he will rejoin the Twins later this month.
"I have another start in five days," he said. "I'll throw 60 pitches, and I'll work back to 80 or 90 and see where I'm at. Hopefully, the strength will start coming back and I'll start showing a little more progress as far as velocity and stuff like that. That's really what we're looking for.
"It's just waiting for [the velocity] to come around. It's been a really slow process. What are you going to do? I'm hoping [to return] by the end of this month. We're running out of time to get starts in. That's the goal."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.