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Madson, Burnett throw lightly from flat ground


TEMPE, Ariz. -- Walking onto the main field at Tempe Diablo Stadium at around 8 a.m. MT on Monday provided a rather welcoming site: Sean Burnett and Ryan Madson, the Angels' two recovering relievers, throwing side by side.

It's still baby steps, though. The Angels are being extra cautious with their two new bullpen arms, both of whom only threw lightly from about 75 feet.

Burnett was throwing for the second time since being diagnosed with a stiff lower back last Monday, but the first time in about four days, and said he already feels good enough to get on the mound if needed, though the Angels will take their time with that.

"I'm good," Burnett said. "I won't be missing any [regular-season] games or anything, just taking my time. We have plenty of time."

Madson continued to feel good on Monday and is expected to throw again from the same distance on Tuesday, representing the first time he's thrown on back-to-back days since suffering a setback after a Feb. 1 bullpen session. The 32-year-old right-hander is all but ruled out for Opening Day, but the club still has no reason to think he won't be ready by mid-to-late April.

There's still no telling when he'll get on a mound again, though.

"I'd be surprised, at this level of his progression, if he doesn't move fairly quickly to a certain point," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "There's always going to be some plateaus you have to break through, but the early stages of a throwing program, we don't expect any setbacks. It's just tough to get a read until you start to [throw with more intensity]."

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