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Beachy set to return after final bullpen session

Beachy set to return after final bullpen session

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Beachy set to return after final bullpen session

ATLANTA -- Braves starter Brandon Beachy must go through one final bullpen session without incident before he makes his official return to the Atlanta rotation from Tommy John surgery that has sidelined him since last June.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez was "95 percent" confident that Beachy would start the series opener against the Rockies on Monday night, contingent upon the right-hander responding well overnight to Saturday's bullpen work.

"We flew him in last night just to make sure he throws his side here, and make sure that [pitching coach Roger McDowell] sees him and we see him and our people see him and be good to go after the side today," Gonzalez said.

Beachy was encouraged by his final rehab start with Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday, in which he struck out three and allowed two hits over six innings. He learned of Tim Hudson's season-ending injury after he had left the game.

"I was inside, just went over and checked my phone, and I had a couple of messages saying, 'Hey, did you see what happened to Huddy?'" Beachy said. "I found the video shortly after and it made me sick to my stomach. I felt terrible."

If Beachy is not able to start on Monday for some reason, the Braves would likely turn to one of their starters in Gwinnett or to reliever Kameron Loe, who had been starting for Gwinnett before joining the Braves bullpen during the team's most recent road trip.

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

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