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Bud Norris likely will need rehab start or simulated game before he returns

Right-hander Bud Norris likely will need to either go on a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment or pitch in a simulated game before returning from the 15-day disabled list with a right groin strain.

“He won’t go from just a side day into starting,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s getting better. I ask [head athletic trainer] Richie [Bancells] and him every day. He’s improving. I don’t think he can really tell until he’s on the mound.”

Norris was believed to have a bullpen session scheduled Wednesday, but he will instead participate in pitcher’s fielding practice Thursday and now is set to throw his next bullpen session Friday.

Norris, who has won his last four starts and left his last outing June 21 against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, is eligible to return from the disabled list Monday, but that doesn’t appear likely.

Norris has been participating in bunting drills for the Orioles pitchers because they will hit Monday and Tuesday in interleague games against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.

Other updates:

* Left-hander Brian Gonzalez, who was the Orioles’ top pick in this year's first-year player draft, made his professional debut Wednesday afternoon in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He tossed a perfect inning.

* Showalter watched as first baseman Chris Davis practices hitting before tonight's game. Davis, who is in an 0-for-19 stretch, worked on several drills, including hitting off a tee.

* Showalter said he had no update on Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Suk-min Yoon, who visited Orioles team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs on Wednesday for shoulder impingement.

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