Izturis says his right elbow is now 100 percent

BOWIE, Md. - He hasn't played in a major league game since May 12, but Cesar Izturis is just about ready to return to the Orioles.

He will play in his third game here tonight on his injury-rehab assignment, batting first and playing shortstop for Double-A Bowie against Trenton at 6:05 p.m.

Izturis went on the disabled list on May 18, retroactive to May 13, with a right elbow ulnar nerve injury. He had an operation on May 24. He had a hard time throwing before the procedure, but pronounces himself 100 percent now with his throwing.

"Perfect. Perfect," he said a few moments ago in the Baysox clubhouse. "I've got that feeling back (in my hand). Before, there was tingling and numbness in my fingers. Now I have the feeling back.

"Feel pretty good. They did a really good job of rehabbing and I have to give credit to the (medical) people in Sarasota. They've done a good job and I feel ready to go."

Izturis played five innings and went 0-for-2 in a Gulf Coast League game on Friday and then was 0-for-4 here for Bowie last night as the designated hitter.

Those were his first games in the minors since a two-game stint here with the Baysox on July 7 and 8 of 2009.

Izturis, who was batting .192 in 16 games with the Orioles before heading to the DL, could be activated in time for the Orioles series Tuesday in Toronto, but he wasn't sure of the exact plans yet.

"I don't know. I'll play shortstop today and we'll figure out if I need more at-bats," Izturis said. "After the game, we'll have a conversation and figure it out.

"I'm excited to go back, be with the team and help out anyhow I can."

Izturis and Vladimir Guerrero just took batting practice here at Prince George's Stadium. Guerrero, testing his fractured right wrist, hit one bomb over the big scoreboard in left-center field. That is a massive shot.

Tonight's Baysox lineup:
SS - Cesar Izturis
DH - Vlad Guerrero
CF - Xavier Avery
LF - LJ Hoes
1B - Joe Mahoney
C - Caleb Joseph
3B - Brandon Waring
2B - Greg Miclat
RF - Ronnie Welty
P - Oliver Drake

Bowie has been playing great baseball, is 17-4 in July, and now just one game out of first place.

Check back here often today and tonight for my updates from Bowie. Later I will have some comments from Zach Britton, who will pitch here tomorrow night against Harrisburg and Bryce Harper.

Also follow my updates from here today on Twitter, @masnsteve.

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