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Downs throws 'pen session, participates in drills

Downs throws 'pen session, participates in drills

Downs throws 'pen session, participates in drills
MINNEAPOLIS -- Lefty reliever Scott Downs described his injury status as: "Very lucky."

So are the Angels, apparently.

On Monday, the team revealed Downs had only sustained a bruise on the back of his left knee, which he hurt while ducking out of the way of a J.P. Arencibia comebacker the day before. On Tuesday, Downs threw a 12-pitch bullpen session and took part in some agility drills at a soggy Target Field. And now, manager Mike Scioscia anticipates Downs being available as his closer no later than Wednesday.

The 36-year-old avoided a trip to the disabled list on April 12, when Twins center fielder Denard Span stepped on his right ankle at Target Field.

Now, it seems, he has dodged yet another trip.

"I'm using my nine lives up real fast -- the ankle and now this," said Downs, who will temporarily wear a sleeve on his left knee. "It's just one of those freak things where my body fell one way and my leg twisted the other, and I couldn't put any weight on it."

It was a scary sight for the Angels on Sunday, watching Downs limp off the field with one out in the ninth, then finding out LaTroy Hawkins sustained a broken right pinkie while fielding a comebacker that resulted in a game-ending double play.

The 39-year-old Hawkins, whose recovery time could take 4-6 weeks, was lost to the DL, with veteran sinkerballer David Pauley taking his place on the roster.

Downs, who hasn't given up a run in 11 appearances, was a little luckier.

"I'm very lucky, very fortunate," Downs said. "The training staff's been great with the treatments and the stuff that they recommend and have us do. It's been non-stop for 36 hours."

"As important as he's been to our bullpen, last year and this year, this is great news," added Scioscia, whose bullpen entered Tuesday with the second-highest ERA in baseball. "Hopefully he'll get out there and won't skip a beat."

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