Thatcher nearing return from left ankle sprain

Thatcher nearing return from left ankle sprain

ARLINGTON -- The Angels could get their lefty specialist back this weekend.

Veteran southpaw Joe Thatcher, out since Aug. 3 with a left ankle sprain, threw a bullpen session at Globe Life Park on Tuesday and is on tap to throw another simulated game on Thursday, which could be his final step before being activated off the disabled list.

Thatcher gave up two runs on two hits in his lone inning of work for Double-A Arkansas on Saturday.

"I was a little rusty," said Thatcher, who has a 3.00 ERA in 45 games with the D-backs and Angels this season. "But the main thing was the ankle held up. It's not going to be 100 percent the rest of the way, but I was able to get warmed up quick and get out on the mound. It went good enough to where I feel like I'm close."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.