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Chad Billingsley to pitch simulated game Tuesday, rehab starts likely begin next weekend

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Craig Minami

LOS ANGELES -- Chad Billingsley will throw another simulated game on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium and if that goes well he will likely start a minor league rehab assignment by next weekend. The right-hander threw 30 pitches in a two-inning simulated game on Thursday.

Billingsley started a rehab assignment in April, but had his first start cut short when he felt something in his elbow. It turned out to be elbow tendonitis, which shut him down for over three weeks. Billingsley last pitched in a major league game on April 15, 2013.

"I'm just anxious to get back out there. I've been through this whole process, but you have to just be patient and keep working," Billingsley said. "It can be very frustrating at times, but it's all just part of the process."

Bilingsley estimated he would probably need five rehab starts, progressing like spring training with increasing pitch counts and innings in each start. Class-A Rancho Cucamonga is home against Bakersfield next weekend through Monday, and Triple-A Albuquerque returns home on Monday, June 9 for a week. Though no schedule has yet been set.

Getting even further ahead of ourselves, when Billingsley is ready to return in what looks to be early July at this point, what will his role be? Manager Don Mattingly said it was too soon to know what the team will need, but that Billingsley will build up his arm strength as a starter during rehab.

"It's not for me to be worried about. I'm worried 100 percent about trying to get back to pitching," Billingsley said. "That's where my focus is."