PHOENIX -- Currently on the disabled list with a shoulder injury retroactive to June 17, D-backs pitcher Joe Saunders will throw a simulated game Tuesday at Chase Field in hopes of skipping a potential rehab assignment and moving directly back into the rotation.
"I feel like I'm good enough to come back, but it's up to [the team]," Saunders said. "I want to get back on the bump before the All-Star break, but they're waiting to see how I come out of it."
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson is a bit more cautious about predicting when Saunders could potentially return to the mound.
"We'll talk about it and see how he throws, let's not get ahead of ourselves," Gibson said. "We'll always be conservative, we're looking long-term. Guys want to get back in, but I'm more cautious, I want to make sure he's fully recovered."
Saunders would likely replace Josh Collmenter in the rotation, but as of now, Collmenter is scheduled to make his third start in two weeks on Friday against the Dodgers.
But Gibson hasn't decided for certain who will make that start, or what to do with Collmenter once Saunders is healthy. Since May 5, Collmenter has allowed five earned runs in 32 2/3 innings.
"He's done masterful at a job," Gibson said. "Overall we'll look at what's best for the team. We'll consider it all."