OAKLAND -- Jason Vargas could be on track to start a rehab assignment next week. The Angels left-hander threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Friday, using all of his pitches at full-intensity, and is ready to take the next step in his recovery.
"I feel 100 percent," Vargas said Saturday. "I feel good. I feel fantastic."
The natural progression for Vargas likely would be an up-and-down session Monday, in which he simulates sitting between innings, then facing hitters on Thursday and perhaps the start of a rehab assignment next Sunday. How long that rehab assignment lasts remains to be seen, but Vargas remains on track to return to the Angels' rotation by mid-August.
Vargas, 6-4 with a 3.65 ERA in 14 starts, has missed about five turns through the rotation while recovering from surgery to remove a blood clot in his left armpit area.
"Our medical department's totally happy with where the surgery was," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's fine. There are no restrictions there. It's a matter of getting his arm in shape."
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.