Danny Duffy will begin a rehab assignment on Saturday at Class AAA Omaha as he continues his recovery from a strained oblique muscle, the Royals announced Thursday.
Duffy has been on the disabled list since injuring his oblique while covering first base in Cleveland on May 28. Once he begins a rehab stint, he will likely need at least three starts to build up his pitch count, Royals manager Ned Yost said this week. Duffy will begin with a three-inning or 45-pitch outing and build up to five innings or 75 pitches in his third start.
Earlier this week, Yost indicated that Duffy would likely begin his rehab assignment early next week, following another side session on Friday at Kauffman Stadium. But after throwing to live hitters on Tuesday, Duffy said he felt ready to depart Kansas City for Omaha.
“It’s just about building up now,” Duffy said on Tuesday. “I understand you have to have patience when it comes to this kind of injury, but if they asked me to go today, I’d be ready to go.”
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Since sustaining the injury in late May, Duffy has appeared to be ahead of schedule in his rehab. The Royals projected the Grade 1 strain could sideline him for six to eight weeks. Barring any setbacks, he appears on track to return to the Royals’ rotation at some point around the All-Star break, which begins on July 10. That would be six weeks after the injury.