SEATTLE -- Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez threw a 44-pitch simulated game on Friday afternoon at Safeco Field and assuming he feels OK on Saturday will likely make a pair of rehab starts before returning.
Jimenez, who has been sidelined with a right ankle sprain, threw all of his pitches and faced coach Einar Diaz and outfielder David Lough, simulating two innings. He will throw a side session on Sunday before pitching Tuesday for Class A short-season Aberdeen.
"He feels good," manager Buck Showalter said of Jimenez, whose last start came July 5. "He walked off the mound, the first thing he said was, 'What's next?' He's ready to get this thing started. But he's going to have to get some innings."
Because Jimenez has thrown just a couple innings over the past 3 1/2 weeks, the Orioles are leaning toward him making two rehab starts. After Aberdeen, the tentative plan is for him to take a side day Thursday and then pitch for a higher-level affiliate on Aug. 3 or 4.
"I feel really good," Jimenez said of finally facing hitters. "Everything went fine today. I didn't have any problem with my ankle, I didn't have to keep thinking about it."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.