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Madson continues to inch toward return to big leagues

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ANAHEIM -- While the Angels began a nine-game homestand with Monday night's 11-4 loss to the Royals, reliever Ryan Madson got in some work for Class A Inland Empire.

Madson, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, could be activated from the disabled list either late this week or this weekend.

Madson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning with one strikeout and recorded the save in his latest outing. It is likely Madson will pitch in another rehab game on Wednesday.

In his bullpen sessions, as well as during Saturday's simulated game in Arizona, Madson's fastball has been clocked in the 91-to-92-mph range. Prior to his Tommy John surgery, Madson said he was pitching around 94 to 95 mph with highs of 97.

While Madson believes the velocity will continue to climb -- and it has been throughout his rehab -- he feels he "can absolutely" get guys out at his current velocity.

With Ernesto Frieri pitching well in the closer's role, it is unclear what Madson's role will be upon his return, but the reliever is not worried about it and simply wants to get back on a Major League mound.

"I just want to pitch and feel good and get outs," Madson said. "Everything else has always taken care of itself."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia would prefer to ease Madson, who has not pitched in a Major League game since 2011, back into action, but acknowledges that is not always the way things work out.

"I think right away, in a perfect world, you want to put him into a situation where he can get some work in and pitch," Scioscia said. "If you're talking about long term, where his upside is this season, there's no doubt he's a back end bullpen guy. If that's going to happen in his first appearance back, that remains to be seen. You'd like to see him just get his feet on the ground and get an inning."

William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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