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Gil Meche could be back pitching for Royals by Thursday

Royals pitcher Gil Meche is tentatively scheduled to return from the disabled list in time to start Thursday's game in Minnesota, manager Trey Hillman said.

Meche made his second rehab start for Class AAA Omaha on Saturday, working five innings, allowing one run, three hits and three walks. He struck out two while throwing 85 pitches, including 53 strikes.

That was his second game action since July 11, when muscle spasms in his back forced him to leave a start in Boston after 3 2/3 innings.

Meche would have about 10 more starts this season.

"We'll see how he is once we see him today," Hillman said before Sunday's game. "He felt good, didn't feel his back at all, and his arm felt good. The report was good on his stuff."

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