Doug Fister on track to make rehab start in Toledo this week

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 11: Doug Fister #58 of the Detroit Tigers walks off the field after pulled in the eighth inning of Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

After a lengthy bullpen session, Detroit Tigers number 2 starting pitcher Doug Fister is on track to make a rehab start with the Toledo Mud Hens this coming week. Jim Leyland gave an encouraging update, saying:

"If everything goes right, he should be back real soon."

Fister was just as encouraged:

"I'm trying to not overdo it, but I feel real good and very strong," he said. "I'm just trying to take it slow but at the same time letting it fly, and it feels pretty good. I'm just trying to work my way into it. "

Fister said he felt no pain afterward.

"None," he said. "None whatsoever."

With the Tigers struggling to find a replacement for Fister, the possibility of a rehab start is very good news. Andy Wilk got the first shot replacing Fister. 3 losses and an 8.18 ERA later, Wilk was sent to Toledo. Duane Below was named to the rotation and will start Monday.

Fister was placed on the 15 day DL back on April 8th, suffering a left costochondral strain (rib strain) in his first start of the season back on April 7th. Fister left the game in the 3rd inning, mid-batter, unable to continue against the Boston Red Sox. Fister suffered a setback about a week into his recovery, forced to end a throwing session only 12 pitches in due to abdominal issues.

But the rib injury has obviously improved to the point where an incident free start with the Mud Hens should have Fister back in the Tigers' rotation.

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