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04/29/09 10:25 PM ET

Crain making steady progress

Twins reliever could be activated by Tuesday

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Jesse Crain's shoulder felt good after his bullpen session on Wednesday afternoon, but the reliever won't be activated on Sunday when he's eligible to come off the disabled list.

Crain said he'll throw two more bullpen sessions -- one on Friday and one on Sunday -- before the Twins determine the target date for his return. If everything goes as expected, though, Crain said he could be activated by Tuesday.

"I've been making big strides," said Crain, who threw 20 pitches -- all fastballs -- off the mound on Wednesday. "It's been getting better every day."

Crain's shoulder inflammation popped up after he pitched five times in seven days. While Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire acknowledged that Crain was overworked as a result of some short starts by the club's rotation, Crain said it's difficult to determine exactly how much is too much. But the expectation is that the club will take a little extra precaution to make sure this doesn't pop up again.

"I think we just found out that we've got to take it easy and try not to overdo it," Crain said. "The way I throw, I put a lot into it. I might not be able to go out there as much as somebody like [Matt] Guerrier, who is more of a sinkerball guy rather than a power guy."

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