Amid slew of injuries, Angels hope Downs' is minor

Amid slew of injuries, Angels hope Downs' is minor

Amid slew of injuries, Angels hope Downs' is minor
ARLINGTON -- Shortstop Erick Aybar continues to be on track for a Monday return, reliever Jordan Walden is progressing with his throwing program and starter Dan Haren will throw a bullpen session on Thursday, in preparation for a Sunday start against the White Sox.

But the status of lefty reliever Scott Downs, placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder on Tuesday, is still up in the air. Downs said he hopes to be out only a couple of weeks, but he isn't quite sure, and a date for him to start throwing again has yet to be determined.

Surgery, at least, can be ruled out.

"I haven't heard it ruled in," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

"[The medical staff is] going to huddle today and kind of get a more definitive idea of what's happening, but I think Downs feels really good at his prognosis. And like I said, right now, talking with [head trainer] Adam [Nevala] and talking with Scott, it seems minor."

Aybar, out since July 21 with a fractured right toe, took ground balls, hit on the field for the first time and continues to feel encouraged. He's tentatively set to be activated for the three-game series against the A's that begins early next week.

"I feel like the way I'm going, if I continue at this rate, I'll be back [in the lineup] very soon," Aybar said in Spanish.

Walden backed up his throwing program to about 130 feet on Wednesday and said he continues to feel no pain in the back of his neck and in his right bicep. But he still needs to extend to full long toss, and after that go on a rehab assignment. It looks like mid-August is most realistic.