SEATTLE -- Steven Pryor, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 15 with a torn muscle in his right shoulder, played catch at 120 feet in the outfield on Saturday as he took another step closer to returning to the Mariners' bullpen.
Pryor said he'll start throwing bullpen sessions sometime next week.
"The arm is back in shape, I'm not feeling any pain, so everything is going good. That's all I can ask for," Pryor said. "The last couple weeks have just been getting back into shape, like Spring Training all over again. Hopefully in the next few days I'll get back on the mound and go from there."
The hard-throwing right-hander gave up just three hits in 7 1/3 scoreless innings over seven relief appearances this season before straining the latissimus dorsi muscle behind his right shoulder.
Pryor originally expected to be out six to eight weeks. The recovery has taken longer than expected, but it now appears he could return sometime in July.
"We hope to get him off the mound here this homestand and go from there," said manager Eric Wedge. "But yeah, he's doing pretty good."
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.