Henderson to begin rehab assignment this week

Henderson to begin rehab assignment this week

ATLANTA -- Jim Henderson (right shoulder inflammation) threw 30 pitches in a pain-free bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon at Turner Field, and he will leave the Brewers on Thursday to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Huntsville on Friday.

Henderson felt stronger throughout his throwing session on Tuesday than he did after throwing 25 pitches off the bullpen mound in Chicago last weekend.

"Knowing that possibly my next time on the mound would be in a rehab appearance, I wanted to step up the intensity today to test it out a bit," Henderson said.

Milwaukee decided to send Henderson to Huntsville since lefty Tom Gorzelanny (offseason shoulder surgery) will soon move from Class A Brevard County to Triple-A Nashville as he continues his own rehabilitation process.

The Brewers have made a tentative plan for Henderson to pitch three outings in Huntsville before re-evaluating his condition. Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said Henderson would pitch three consecutive days to see how his shoulder responds.

Although Milwaukee wants Henderson to be pain-free and healthy, the goal is for the right-hander's slider to return to form. The breaking ball bothered the right-hander's shoulder initially, but he said it was good and painless in both bullpen sessions.

"He's got to have his stuff back," Roenicke said. "When he comes back here, we want him ready to come in situations where we need a big inning."

Henderson, who has been on the disabled list since May 2, added: "The most important thing is pain-free first, which seems like that is headed in the right direction, and then just how the ball's coming out performance-wise."

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