KANSAS CITY -- Jered Weaver was back with the Angels on Thursday, and manager Mike Scioscia said the right-hander's next side session will determine if he can come off the disabled list and rejoin the rotation next week.
Weaver worked 5 2/3 innings in an extended spring training game on Wednesday, and 62 of his 75 pitches went for strikes. Among the hitters he faced was Major Leaguer Michael Cuddyer, who is rehabbing for the Rockies. Weaver hasn't pitched for the Angels since fracturing his left elbow on April 7.
"It's very encouraging," Scioscia said. "We'll let him throw his bullpen and see where he comes out of it. If everything comes out fine, we'll fold him into the rotation the middle of next week. If he needs more work, it'll be there for him."
"I got my work in," Weaver said. "Location was good, everything felt good. I'll wait to see what Scioscia and the training staff have planned and go from there."
Should the Angels ask Weaver if he can pitch a Major League game his next time out, what would Weaver say?
"Yes," Weaver replied. "I would like to. But I also know that the Angels aren't only looking at now, but looking to the future, too. It's ultimately up to them."
Jepsen 'close' to returning to Angels bullpen
KANSAS CITY -- The Angels could be on the verge of getting right-hander Kevin Jepsen back in the bullpen.
"He's close," manager Mike Scioscia said, adding that Jepsen will make another rehab appearance this week.
Jepsen has been on the disabled list for more than five weeks because of a right shoulder strain. He made his second Minor League rehab appearance on Wednesday for Salt Lake and surrendered three runs, including two homers. Jepsen threw 19 pitches in his one inning.
Jepsen pitched just 3 2/3 innings prior to the injury, allowing five hits and four earned runs with six strikeouts and one walk.
Angels are taking no team lightly
KANSAS CITY -- The Angels opened a 14-game stretch against opponents without winning records on Thursday. But manager Mike Scioscia knows his club will have to be ready for those games against the Royals, Dodgers, Astros and Cubs.
"Every game on the schedule is going to be tough," Scioscia said. "There's no such thing as a soft part of your schedule or a hard part of your schedule. We're playing much better baseball right now than we have at any time this year leading up to now.
"That's really the focus and what's important -- that we keep growing from that."
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.