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Patterson making good progress

Patterson making good progress

BOSTON -- A throwing session with Nolan Ryan is up next for pitcher John Patterson. That could lead to Patterson being cleared to start pitching in games again.

Patterson is scheduled to throw a bullpen session for Ryan and Minor League pitching coordinator Rick Adair on Monday back in Texas. If that goes well, Patterson could start appearing in games again by the end of the week.

"He's doing good," pitching coach Mark Connor said.

Patterson was signed to a Minor League contract toward the end of Spring Training after he was released by the Washington Nationals. He missed much of last season with soreness in his right elbow and biceps, and the Rangers wanted to bring him along slowly. But they are starting to see considerable progress.

Patterson will likely throw two bullpen sessions this week, including the one with Ryan, and then return to Surprise, Ariz., where he will start pitching in extended Spring Training games.

"He'll probably get at least three starts there and build back up to three or four innings," Connor said. "Once he gets built up, we'll get him out of there and into a better environment."

Patterson could be an option at some point in mid-May or the beginning of June if the Rangers need a starting pitcher. He will likely be ready before Brandon McCarthy.

McCarthy is on the disabled list with severe inflammation in his right elbow and, though he is doing well, he is only throwing off flat ground at this time. He is working out in Arizona, but is expected to return to Texas on the next homestand so the Major League staff can get a better look at him.

It's unlikely that McCarthy will be ready before the first of June.

"That's probably as soon as he could be ready," Connor said. "John will be ready before that."

Thomas Diamond could also be ready before June 1 to at least begin pitching in Minor League games. Diamond, who had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery 13 months ago, is up to 35-45 pitches in extended Spring Training games in Surprise. The Rangers were hoping Diamond could start pitching in Minor League games before June 1, but he could be back as soon as May 15.

"I talked to him the other day, and everything is going well," Connor said. "He's just trying to get his mechanics smoothed out. If we can get T.D. to the Majors in September, that would be great -- great for him, great for the organization, great for everybody."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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