Capuano close to a comeback

Look for an “inbox” to appear on later today with some of your questions about the first two weeks of the season. Topics include the team’s early-season pitching struggles, Carlos Gomez and Triple-A infielder Adam Heether, plus some injury updates.
I thought I would preview that final topic because it involves left-hander Chris Capuano, a player many of you have been following as he attempts to return from his second Tommy John surgery:
On an off day, it might be good to update us Brewer fans about some injuries. How far away are Chris Capuano and David Riske from coming back? How about in the Minors with Adam Stern, Brendan Katin and Mat Gamel all on the disabled list? Just wanted to get an idea on timetable and how far the guys are in their rehab or how serious the injuries are.
— Jordan K., no hometown
Thanks to Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash for some answers to Jordan’s e-mail. The main bit of news from Gord is that the left-hander Capuano, who had a bit of a Spring Training setback in his return from Tommy John elbow surgery, is “close” to returning to game action and could be activated before the end of this week. The team would then have to decide where to send Capuano to pitch, with warm-weather Brevard County, Fla. (home of the organization’s advanced Class A affiliate) one strong contender. Capuano looked extremely sharp before his setback, so let’s not count him out to help the big club just yet. 
Riske is also coming back from Tommy John surgery but remains well behind Capuano. According to Ash, Riske is on track to begin a 30-day rehabilitation assignment around the end of April. 
Stern (rib-cage strain) is about two weeks away from returning to action and Gamel (shoulder) is still about a month away, according to Ash. Gamel might have made the Brewers’ Opening Day roster if he had not suffered a slightly torn muscle behind his right — throwing — shoulder. 
The Brewers are still evaluating Katin, Ash said. The outfielder was off to a tremendously hot start for Triple-A Nashville (four homers and nine RBIs in nine games) before he suffered a foot injury on Friday. It’s too early to know how much time he will miss, according to the team.
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