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Aardsma not expected back until mid-April

Aardsma not expected back until mid-April

Aardsma not expected back until mid-April
SEATTLE -- Mariners trainer Rick Griffin confirmed Thursday that closer David Aardsma, who underwent hip labrum surgery three weeks ago, is not expected to be ready to pitch in games until at least the second week of the regular season.

Meanwhile, reliever Shawn Kelley, who underwent modified Tommy John surgery last year, will start throwing next week and has a goal of returning by June 1, two months into the season.

Griffin, providing a full health update on the club at Thursday's pre-Spring Training media day, indicated all other Mariners have relatively clean slates heading into camp.

Starting pitcher Erik Bedard has been "feeling great" in his throwing program and will have worked up to 40-pitch bullpen sessions by the time pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 13, Griffin said.

Left fielder Michael Saunders had his appendix removed three weeks ago but will start normal exercise next week. Despite suffering a mild elbow ligament strain that cut short his winter season in Venezuela, Saunders is on track to start Spring Training at full speed.

Griffin denied reports that center fielder Franklin Gutierrez had been hospitalized in Venezuela with a stomach problem. Griffin said Gutierrez did go to a doctor in his home country, but no problem was detected.

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