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Kuroda, Penny improving but not ready

Kuroda, Penny not quite ready to play

LOS ANGELES -- Disabled starting pitchers Hiroki Kuroda and Brad Penny passed bullpen sessions Wednesday, but neither will start on the homestand, which ends on Sunday.

Both are scheduled to give their shoulders further tests with simulated games, Kuroda on Friday and Penny on Saturday. Kuroda last pitched June 12 and is eligible to be activated Saturday. Penny last pitched June 14 and is eligible to be activated Monday.

Manager Joe Torre said Chan Ho Park will start Friday night against the Angels, followed by Chad Billingsley on Saturday and Derek Lowe on Sunday. He speculated that Kuroda might return to the Dodgers' rotation early next week, but implied that Penny might need a Minor League rehabilitation start. Kuroda had a cortisone shot for tendinitis; Penny did not.

Meanwhile, Jason Schmidt came out of a Tuesday bullpen session without tightness and is scheduled to resume a Minor League rehab assignment Saturday in Las Vegas. Torre said he expects Schmidt to take the full 30 days to rebuild arm strength, following shoulder surgery last season.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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