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06/01/09 8:08 PM ET

Valverde throws from mound

On DL since April 27, Astros closer feels good

HOUSTON -- Astros closer Jose Valverde threw 25 pitches in the bullpen prior to Monday's game against the Colorado Rockies in his first appearance on a mound since landing on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf.

Valverde, who's led the National League in saves in each of the previous two seasons, reported no problems with his calf and said he would throw off the mound again Wednesday. But the real test won't come until he can field his position.

"I felt good," Valverde said. "I'll throw again Wednesday and take a couple of ground balls and all of that."

Valverde (0-1, 5.63) injured himself fielding a ground ball on April 21 and appeared in two games after that before the pain and swelling became too much. He has had a frustrating rehabilitation since, including a second opinion from Dr. John Uribe in Miami.

He rejoined the team last week in Pittsburgh, marking the first time he had been with his teammates while they were away since going on the DL on April 27. LaTroy Hawkins has handled the closing duties in Valverde's absence, converting six saves.

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