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Oswalt getting closer to making rehab start

Oswalt getting closer to making rehab start

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ATLANTA -- Right-hander Roy Oswalt said the beginning was a little rough, but his bullpen session on Tuesday at Turner Field -- 36 pitches, using all his pitches -- went well enough that he's good to go for a simultated game Friday in Pittsburgh and a Minor League rehab start.

Oswalt doesn't want to make more than one start in the Minors before returning, but that depends on how he feels.

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The Rockies hope Oswalt, 35, regains his form this year. Even if the team doesn't push into the playoff race, the Rockies want to keep him and evaluate whether to re-sign him for next season.

The last two seasons -- last year with the Rangers and this year with the Rockies -- Oswalt didn't attend Spring Training and signed after the season started because he didn't receive offseason offers. A former All-Star and Cy Young Award candidate, Oswalt believes he has a future as a starter.

The first step is contributing positively to the Rockies this season. In four starts before the injury, a rusty Oswalt went 0-4 with a 7.64 ERA.

"I want to help this team," he said. "I wasn't doing too well at first, then I got hurt. But I still believe I can pitch well for this team."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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