Matusz’s return mid-May at the earliest

As expected, lefty Brian Matusz will go back to extended spring next weekend when the Orioles embark on a two-city roadtrip.

Matusz (strained left intercostal muscle) will throw a bullpen in some capacity on Tuesday and Thursday in Baltimore and the plan is for him to progress enough to get in a two-inning stint in extended spring before joining an affiliate.

“One, we know that the weather will be better there and we’d like to have his first outing be in that type of weather. Who knows what it’s going to be [with] our affiliates?,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We’d rather have [Matusz] right there so when he’s ready to go, he can go, and we can kind of pick and choose where the best place might be from there.”

Matusz will need at least three rehab outings, which puts him at a mid-May return at the earliest. Showalter said the team has it laid out conservatively up to when Matusz would be activated, but he didn’t divulge specific details.

“It’s pretty one-sided for all of us,” Showalter said when asked if it was tough to be patient given that the 24-year-old Matusz is the team’s No. 2 starter. “We’re going to get it right. We’re not going to have this [continue].”

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