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Relievers Madson, Burnett both progressing

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- There will be noticeable progression from the Angels' two new relievers next week, with Ryan Madson slated to return to the mound on Monday and Sean Burnett probably appearing in his first Cactus League game by Wednesday.

Madson's recovery from April 2012 Tommy John surgery came to a halt after a Feb. 1 setback due to elbow soreness, but the 32-year-old right-hander has progressed far enough in his program to throw another bullpen session.

After that, his rehab schedule is a little hazy.

Madson, all but guaranteed to start the season on the disabled list, previously estimated he'd need just under 10 bullpen sessions before being game ready, which may not leave him enough time to get into Cactus League action before the Spring Training schedule runs out. The Angels are still hopeful that Madson will be available at some point in mid-to-late April, but Madson isn't getting ahead of himself.

Monday's session is all about getting reacclimated.

"Just getting familiar with the mound again, and the mechanics and the slope and throwing to the catcher [on a downward plane], trying to get some timing and some coordination, mechanics and feel," said Madson, who was shut down after his fourth bullpen session of the offseason.

Burnett was shut down because of lower back stiffness on Feb. 18, but said he hasn't felt any pain in that area in "a week and a half, two weeks." The Angels' training staff has been extra cautious with Burnett's recovery, mainly because he has more than enough time to be ready by Opening Day.

The 30-year-old left-hander will throw a simulated game Sunday, then make his spring debut a few days later.

"I've been around long enough to know what I need," Burnett said. "If I start tomorrow with the simulated game, I'll get plenty of outings and probably just as many as any year before, if not more. I'm right on track. I'm not going to miss anything."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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