Joakim Soria injury: Reliver targeting June return

Jamie Squire

The new Rangers reliever is hoping to be back on the mound at mid-season.

Texas Rangers right-hander Joakim Soria is hoping to make his comeback from Tommy John -- and his first appearance with the Lone Star state club -- by late May or early June, reports Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas:

Texas Rangers reliever Joakim Soria has targeted late May or early June for a return to the big leagues following the second Tommy John surgery of his career.

Soria, appearing at a fan event sponsored by ESPN Deportes 1540 AM in Dallas on Thursday, said he's throwing out to 120 feet and feels good. He does not know when he might get on a mound.

The 28-year-old Soria -- who agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal with the Rangers in early December -- did not make it out of spring training in 2012 before succumbing to the elbow injury that resulted in TJ surgery. The right-hander underwent the procedure for the second time in his career, first undergoing the operation as a youngster in the Los Angeles Dodgers' system.

When Soria does return to the bullpen -- and if he can remain healthy -- he should provide a big boost to the Rangers' bullpen. The right-hander posted a 2.40 ERA and 9.7 K/9 rate in his five seasons as the Kansas City Royals' closer, racking up 160 saves.

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