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Paxton progressing, throws bullpen session

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SEATTLE -- Mariners southpaw James Paxton, who has been dealing with shoulder issues since his second start of the season in early April, took another step in his latest comeback attempt as he threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Friday afternoon at Safeco Field.

Paxton went through the entire rehab process once already, but had to be shut back down after experiencing soreness following a three-inning start for Triple-A Tacoma on May 24. Now he's building his arm strength back up and says he'll throw another bullpen session, likely on Monday.

Paxton said everything went well in Friday's limited session.

"The first 10 [pitches] were with the catcher on the plate. The last 15 he was back in normal position and I was throwing fastballs, four-seam, two-seam and the changeup," Paxton said. "It all felt really good, felt really smooth. The ball was at the bottom of the zone, so it was good."

The 25-year-old is 5-0 with a 1.75 in six career starts, so the Mariners are eager to get him back. But they're being careful with the 25-year-old and Paxton said he has no timetable for a possible return.

"Right now we're just thinking bullpens, and then we'll go on to sim games and from there will go to rehab assignment," he said. "We just haven't really got to that point yet."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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