ST. PETERSBURG -- A familiar face was in the Astros' clubhouse on Sunday. Veteran relief pitcher Matt Albers was back with his teammates so he could make the flight home to Houston after the series finale against the Rays.
Albers, who has been on the disabled list since April 22 with right shoulder tendinitis, has been rehabbing at the team's Spring Training facility in Kissimmee, Fla., for the past several weeks and recently began making significant progress.
"I've been throwing," he said. "This whole last week I've been getting out to 100 feet and feeling a lot better and letting it go pretty good. I think now it's a matter of building up to be able to get into games. I'm still not quite there, but feeling a lot better."
Albers will continue his rehab in Houston this week and plans to start throwing in the bullpen in anticipation of going on a Minor League rehab assignment.
"I don't know the exact dates," he said. "I'm going to go on how I feel. It's definitely improving and getting closer, which is a good sign."
The Astros have being sending players who are on the DL to Kissimmee this year to focus on rehab. Albers was there with Anthony Bass, who has been out since May 11 with a right intercostal strain. Bass recently left to begin a rehab assignment at Class A Quad Cities.
"I was just trying to stay optimistic and hope that it would start getting better quicker, and it just didn't," Albers said. "I came to Kissimmee and it didn't feel great the first couple of weeks I was down there playing catch. This last week it's really improved and feeling better, and basically I had to back off a little bit, but it's starting to get better now."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.