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Cashner nearing return after bullpen session

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CHICAGO -- Pitcher Andrew Cashner took another big step toward rejoining the Padres' active roster, as he threw 45 pitches during a bullpen session prior to Friday's game at U.S. Cellular Field.

Cashner, on the disabled list with soreness in his right elbow, is scheduled to throw a simulated game Monday at Petco Park. There are no plans at this point for a Minor League rehabilitation stint.

The simulated game would likely be the last hurdle for Cashner to clear before he is reinstated. He was placed on the disabled list on May 17, retroactive to May 15.

"It went good," Cashner said. "I threw everything, threw to both sides of the plate and I was working down a little more. I was crisp today."

Unlike Tuesday, when he threw 30 pitches before a game in Phoenix, Cashner threw his slider Friday, using a slightly-altered grip that simply involved him moving his fingers on the ball.

"I thought my slider was as good as it's been in a long time," he said.

Manager Bud Black, who watched the bullpen session, was encouraged as well with what he saw.

"All indications are he's good to go in a simulated game Monday," Black said. "He threw with a great deal of intensity and effort."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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