Mariners get mixed news on injury front

TORONTO — Everything these days concerning the Mariners centers around developments on the disabled list. Friday brought mixed news.

Left-hander James Paxton and outfielder Mitch Haniger are progressing, and club officials are loosely targeting their return coming at some point on the next road trip — May 23-30 to Washington, Boston and Colorado.

Right-hander Felix Hernandez is slowing his throwing program after two sessions of playing catch. He hasn’t pitched since April 25 because of bursitis in his shoulder.

“Felix played catch and just felt so-so,” manager Scott Servais said. “We’re backing off. He’s not throwing (Friday).”

The Mariners don’t yet have a medical update on right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, who returned this week to Seattle for further examination after being placed on the disabled list because of shoulder inflammation.

Reliever Steve Cishek threw well Thursday in a one-inning outing for Triple-A Tacoma. He is ticketed for one more rehab appearance and, if no problems arise, is likely to be activated during next week’s seven-game homestand.

“The ball is coming out of his hand better with better life to his pitches,” Servais said. “That’s definitely moving in the right direction. He’s probably going to get one more rehab (outing), and then we’ll evaluate.”

Cishek is recovering from October surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip.

Paxton began throwing Friday in his recovery from a strained forearm muscle, which was diagnosed after a May 2 start against the Angels. He is 3-0 with a 1.43 ERA in six starts prior to his injury.

“He’s going to need an extended (outing before returning),” Servais said, “whether it’s a simulated game or a rehab start. We’ve got to stretch him a little bit.”

Haniger suffered a strained right oblique muscle in the same April 25 game in Detroit that forced Hernandez to the disabled list. Haniger was batting .342 in 21 games with four homers and 16 RBIs prior to his injury.

Saturday will mark a major test for Haniger, who will be taking swings at balls on a tee for the first time since his injury. Up to now, he has been limited to taking swings in a pool, where the water’s resistance guards putting stress on the oblique.

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