Kuo, Belisario nearing their returns

Kuo, Belisario nearing their returns

PITTSBURGH -- Relievers Hong-Chih Kuo and Ronald Belisario are making significant progress toward activation.

Kuo, on the disabled list with typical elbow problems, made 20 throws off a mound on Tuesday and reported no problems Wednesday.

"A good sign," said Kuo.

Manager Joe Torre said everything's been good with Kuo's recovery, and "if it continues to be good, we'll think about sending him somewhere" on an injury rehab assignment, probably first to extended spring at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.

That's where Belisario has been since reporting five weeks late to Spring Training. He threw to hitters Tuesday with no problem, and he's scheduled to make his first game appearance on Friday. Torre said that by the end of next week, Belisario could be tested in back-to-back games.

If that's the case, he's ahead of schedule and could be activated in less than two weeks.