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Nick Blackburn Injury: Struggling In Minors, But Twins Starter Still On Track

Minnesota Twins pitcher Nick Blackburn continues to recover from a right quadriceps strain that put him on the DL on May 17th. Blackburn remains in Rochester for another rehab start after struggling in his first outing on Tuesday. While not tearing up the Triple-A competition, Blackburn is reportedly making progress toward a return to the mound for the Twins.

According to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, the end results in Rochester weren't a priority for Blackburn. Making sure his leg held up to the live pitching performance is waht really mattered in his first start. So now, assuming there are no set backs physically for Blackburn, if he can show some improvement in his performance he will be back with the big club next week.

"He threw 70 pitches or whatever," Gardenhire said Friday. "It was all about pitches and stretching back out and making sure his body's OK. Our preference would be to see him throw the ball good next time; we'll see what happens.

"He throws Sunday. If he's still having issues and not getting people out down there, we'll take a look and see what we've got."

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Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.