SEATTLE -- Koji Uehara moved one step and one day closer to a healthy return on Wednesday.
Baltimore's rookie starter is attempting to recover from a strained left hamstring, an ailment that bothered him in Spring Training and forced him to leave his last start early. The right-hander threw a side session before Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Mariners and will throw another next week before making a possible return against the Mariners at Camden Yards.
"He's going to throw another one," said manager Dave Trembley of Uehara. "It might be on Monday on the day off. He's still on pace to start. I'll announce in Oakland when he's going to pitch.
Trembley can use a pair of off-days -- one on Thursday and one on Monday -- to recast his rotation in any form he sees fit. The manager said that he'll mostly keep everyone on turn and said that he'd divulge more information during the Oakland series. For now, it appears that Uehara will return next Wednesday or Thursday.
"In some respects, there will be a couple of guys that we'll try to keep on five [days' rest]," he said. "It will be hard to keep everybody on five. We might do something with Koji, put him on six. But we'll have five starters."
Uehara left his last start after three innings, but prior to that, he hadn't been removed before the fifth. Uehara held his opponents to three earned runs or fewer in six of his first eight starts, keeping his team in the game. And as far as pitching coach Rick Kranitz is concerned, Uehara appears to be back to prime condition.
"He threw the ball very well," said Kranitz. "His last bullpen and this one was very, very good. He threw 68 pitches and he was strong all the way through. The life to all his pitches was very good."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.