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Scott Downs throws simulated game, may return next week

Apr 5, 2011, 3:13 PM EDT

Downs_Scott

Out since mid-March with a broken toe, Scott Downs threw a 15-pitch simulated game this afternoon and reported no problems.

Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that Downs also participated in some fielding drills and could be close to beginning a minor-league rehab assignment, with an eye toward joining the Angels’ bullpen at some point next week.

Downs is expected to serve as a setup man after signing a three-year, $15 million deal with the Angels as a free agent this winter, but could emerge as a closing alternative to Fernando Rodney if manager Mike Scioscia isn’t ready to hand ninth-inning duties over to flame-throwing rookie Jordan Walden.

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