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04/20/09 9:10 PM ET

Brocail ready for rehab assignment

Astros right-hander recovering from shoulder strain

HOUSTON -- Astros reliever Doug Brocail threw 40-45 pitches off the mound on Monday and is slated to make a rehab appearance for Triple-A Round Rock on Friday. The Express will play at home that night as hosts to the New Orleans Zephyrs.

Brocail, recovering from a rotator cuff strain, is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday.

"We'll see how it goes," he said. "If I need more time, I'll need more time."

In other rehab news, right-hander Brandon Backe threw a bullpen session on Monday in anticipation of a three-inning simulated game he'll throw on Wednesday. If that goes well, the right-hander could also be sent out on a Minor League rehab assignment.

"That will be one more test before I go out in a real game situation in the Minor Leagues," he said, referring to the simulated game. "If I can get out from under the wing of the Astros babyness -- I'm not saying that in a bad way, but it's time for me to go off and leave my mother, so to speak."

Right-hander Brian Moehler, recovering from a right knee sprain, could also soon be ready for a rehab assignment. He was recently fitted for a knee brace and is slated to throw off the mound for the first time Tuesday.

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