Crain targeting weekend return to White Sox

Crain targeting weekend return to White Sox

BOSTON -- A second simulated game thrown by Jesse Crain on Thursday afternoon produced sufficient enough results to have the right-hander close to being activated this weekend in Detroit.

Crain was told by pitching coach Don Cooper that he will be back from the disabled list with the team either on Saturday or Sunday after throwing two 15-pitch sessions to test his right shoulder strain. Crain compared the effort to a two-inning outing and felt strong, along with having good command of his pitches.

His two simulated games thrown this week were deemed by Crain and the team as good as a Minor League rehab assignment. Adding a confident Crain, who also has battled through right and left oblique strains since Spring Training, should greatly help a White Sox bullpen currently featuring veteran Matt Thornton, newly called up southpaw Donnie Veal with one year of service time and five rookies.

And Crain feels confident that he is ready to help. Manager Robin Ventura wants to see the Friday and Saturday health response from the right-hander with a 2.38 ERA and .190 opponents average against in 23 games.

"It could be Saturday or Sunday," said Ventura. "Probably Sunday though."

"The way I know that I'm ready is when I physically feel nothing when I throw and the next day I feel fine," Crain said. "Last time I went and threw in games, and this time I did simulated games. To me it's the same difference. I'm facing hitters and going all out at them. As long as when I'm going all out I feel fine and healthy, that's when I know I'll be ready for the game."