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Scheppers throws off mound

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HOUSTON -- Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers, on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow, took another step toward returning when he had his first throwing session off the mound on Tuesday.

"It was definitely exciting," Scheppers said. "I went through it with no problems. I threw about 25-30 pitches. It's extremely nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel and be headed in the right direction."

Scheppers was the Rangers' Opening Day starter after spending last season as their eighth-inning setup reliever. The Rangers have not decided whether Scheppers will return as a starter or a reliever. At some point they will have to make that decision so they can adjust his rehab throwing program accordingly.

"We haven't discussed that yet," manager Ron Washington said. "It's premature. The main thing is to get him healthy. We've got to get him healthy and ready to compete again. When we get closer to that, before we start ramping him up we'll make a decision because we have to set up his program. We haven't set the program yet."

Scheppers wants to remain as a starter but said, "I'm willing to accept anything. The main thing is I'm happy to be in the process of getting back and closer to being back."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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