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D-backs’ Taijuan Walker feeling ‘really good’ after throwing simulated game

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker took another step this week in his return from Tommy John surgery.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said Walker on Tuesday threw a 39-pitch simulated game and felt “really, really good” after.

Walker, 26, underwent Tommy John surgery last April.

“I had a brief conversation with [Walker] throughout the course of the game [Tuesday] and he’s super excited,” Lovullo said before Wednesday’s game against the New York Yankees. “I’m really encouraged.”

Lovullo said he wasn’t sure about what was the next step in Walker’s rehab and didn’t give a timeline on when he would return to the major league team.

Walker threw 20 pitches off a mound on March 20 and soon after started throwing bullpen sessions before Tuesday’s simulated game.

Walker had a 3.46 ERA in three starts last season but in 2017 posted a 3.49 ERA and 146 strikeouts in 157.1 innings.

“We want to make sure we don’t rush it,” Lovullo said of Walker’s rehab process. “I know I’ve spelled it out a couple of times, but he’s a very important piece of this puzzle and we want to make sure he’s getting the perfect amount of attention in every area.”

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