Putz getting ready to start rehab assignment

Putz getting ready to start rehab assignment

PHOENIX -- D-backs reliever J.J. Putz left the team to join Triple-A Reno on Tuesday to begin an injury rehabilitation assignment.

Putz, who has been on the disabled list with a strained elbow since May 8, is scheduled to pitch for Reno on Thursday and Saturday.

If that goes well, Putz would then throw in back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday.

"We do want him to be able to throw back-to-back days when he comes back," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.

Heath Bell has filled in at closer during Putz's absence, and has saved 11 games in the interim and 12 overall.

Gibson was asked how Putz would be worked back into the bullpen mix when he returns.

"We'll get him back-to-back and see how he's feeling," Gibson said. "We're going to wait and see how he's throwing, how healthy he is, and we'll see what else is going on in our bullpen as well. I think right now our focus is on getting him healthy and making sure he's ready to pitch here."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.