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07/11/08 10:27 PM ET

Young throws second simulated game

Two to four rehab starts on deck in recovery from broken nose

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres' Chris Young threw his second simulated game Friday as he continues to rehab from a broken nose he suffered against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 21.

Young threw around 50 pitches in three innings and said he felt good, both physically and when it came to his stuff.

"There are still some things to fine tune," Young said, "but overall I felt fine."

Young underwent surgery on June 30 to repair his septum in order to improve his breathing. Young says that his breathing has improved, though there is still some swelling. As that goes down, it should continue to improve.

With it being his second time facing hitters since the injury, there was still some concern as to how he would react to balls being hit back to him on the mound. It happened three times on Friday.

"I didn't think about it," Young said. "As far as I'm concerned, it's a non-issue. It's too hard to go out there and pitch thinking about other things, especially a ball coming back at you. If anything, I will try to be more aggressive instead of less."

It has been nearly two months since Young last pitched in a big league game. He said he's not exactly where he hopes to be but doesn't think that he's far off either. Both Young and manager Bud Black are looking at a late July or early August return.

"I miss being out there," Young said. "It's not fun sitting out. This is the longest I've ever sat out in anything in my life. It's not fun. I'm anxious to get back out there and help the team."

Next for Young will be two to four rehab starts with the Padres' Class A affiliate in Lake Elsinore, Calif., starting Wednesday. The number of starts will be determined by how Young is feeling, and for at least one of those starts, there is a good chance he will throw to catcher Josh Bard.

Bard served as catcher for Young's simulated game and ran the bases, including sliding. Bard has been out since May 21 with a high ankle sprain.

"I'm anxious to get out there," Bard said. "Sliding on my leg was a big deal."

Bard said he's being doing a lot of cardio to keep up his conditioning, though he admits there is no way to replicate being in a catcher's stance for an entire game. But after Friday, he is encouraged with his progress.

Ronald P. Clark is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.