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07/12/08 6:58 PM ET

Pain-free bullpen session for Jenks

Injured closer getting ready for Minor League assignment

ARLINGTON -- White Sox closer Bobby Jenks threw his bullpen session on Saturday as planned, and all signs are pointing toward a return from the disabled list on July 18 for Chicago's first game back from the All-Star break.

"It went good," pitching coach Don Cooper said of Jenks' bullpen session. "Everything went good. He threw five pitches and gave me a thumbs-up and went from there."

Jenks has been out of action since June 29 with left scapula bursitis and was placed on the disabled list on July 9, retroactive to June 30. The layoff since the last time he threw left Jenks a little rusty, but he felt like he shook off some of the rust during his bullpen.

"I went out and threw and it felt a little tight, which I expected, but there wasn't any pain," Jenks said.

Fortunately for Jenks, the injury is on his left side, so his pitching arm feels fine and has gotten some rest since he's been out of action. But Jenks isn't expected to rest along with his teammates during the All-Star break.

Jenks will leave for a rehab assignment Sunday and is expected to throw Monday for Class A Winston-Salem and Wednesday for Double-A Birmingham. Jenks, who has 18 saves and a 1.95 ERA, is actually looking forward to spending some time on the farm.

"It's going to be fun going back down there in the first place," Jenks said. "The big thing will be putting in some innings and getting ready for the second half of the season."

If all goes well, Jenks will be with the team as it takes on Kansas City to kick off the second half of the season.

"I don't anticipate any problems, but I never do," Cooper said.

Shawn Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.