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Escobar's rehab start pushed back

Escobar's rehab start pushed back

ANAHEIM -- Kelvim Escobar said on Tuesday night he's experiencing "normal fatigue" in his right shoulder after a strong effort on Friday night in San Diego and that his next outing, originally set for Thursday night with high Class A Rancho Cucamonga, has been pushed back a few days.

"I'm fine," Escobar said. "It's just a little normal fatigue in the front of my shoulder, not the back, where the surgery was [performed on July 29]. I'm still feeling great. I was throwing 95, 96 consistently in San Diego [against the Padres]. Now, I know my arm is good. I'm just being careful with it.

"This is my Spring Training now. I have to keep that in mind. Knowing John Lackey and Ervin Santana aren't in the rotation, I want to get back and pitch, but I have to be smart about this and take my time.

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"I want to be strong at the end of the season, when it really matters. It wouldn't be smart to try to do too much too soon. I'm already way ahead of schedule. I could pitch Thursday, but what's the point? I've got plenty of time. It's better to take a little extra time and make sure I get over this fatigue."

Escobar feels he will be back in prime form when he does rejoin the rotation, either late in April or early May. He feels he has everything in order that he took to the mound in 2007 when he won a career-high 18 games and was in the Cy Young Award conversation along with Lackey before shoulder inflammation surfaced in September.

"I think I'll be as good as ever," Escobar said. "I've been pitching a long time, and I know myself. I still have some years ahead of me. I work hard, take good care of myself. I'm excited, but I don't want to get too excited and throw sooner than I should."

According to Angels manager Mike Scioscia, "Eskie came out a little tight, nothing major. We might hold off until the weekend with him."

Lackey played catch, the first step in his recovery from a right forearm strain, and Santana continued his long-toss program.

"Ervin is very close to getting [on] a mound," Scioscia said. "I would think within four or five days.

"The first step for John was letting it calm down. Now he's started playing catch. If he can progress to long toss and the mound, he could come quickly. It's going to take some staging."

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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