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02/27/09 4:23 PM EST

Bale's blood work shows irregularities

Pitcher returns to KC for evaluation; Guillen progressing nicely

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Royals pitcher John Bale has returned to Kansas City for tests on his thyroid after irregularities were noted in blood work during a physical examination.

"They're going to evaluate that and we'll see where it goes," manager Trey Hillman said. "The doctors will have to tell us on that."

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Bale, counted on as a bullpen left-hander, has been restricted in throwing this spring because of a stiff upper back.

Right fielder Jose Guillen did some throwing on Friday morning and reported that his right shoulder, which had been sore, was feeling OK.

Hillman will not make a decision on whether Guillen will be a designated hitter, be in the outfield or even play on Saturday against the Padres. He did not make the trip to Scottsdale for Friday's game against San Francisco.

Guillen wants to delay leaving for training with the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic, according to Hillman. Other players are leaving on Sunday for the event which begins for the Dominicans on March 7 at Puerto Rico. The Royals have been meeting with Classic officials.

"I'm not sure exactly how that's going to go from their end," Hillman said. "Obviously that's more than OK by us because we'll be able to monitor his swings, and he can still get some live at-bats and hopefully we'll get him in the outfield before he leaves. If they sign off on that, that's great. I hope they do."

In other medical news, pitcher Ron Mahay is making progress as he recovers from the effects of plantar fasciitis. He's being eased into the pitching plans and is expected to pitch in a game sometime next week.

The Royals announced on Friday that left-handed pitcher Neal Musser has cleared waivers and was released. He was designated for assignment on Feb. 19.

Musser pitched in each of the last two seasons for the Royals. He had a 0-1 record in 18 relief outings with a 4.21 ERA.

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