David Aardsma to begin rehab assignment tonight at Triple-A

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David Aardsma’s comeback from January hip surgery will take a big step tonight when he begins a minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A.

Mariners manager Eric Wedge told Greg Johns of MLB.com that Aardsma will likely be asked to make three or four rehab appearances before a return from the disabled list is considered, which means the closer could be back by the end of the month.

Seattle looks headed for another last-place season, so assuming Aardsma pitches reasonably well upon returning and can stay healthy the Mariners will almost surely renew their efforts to trade him. Fill-in closer Brandon League has converted all three of his save chances in Aardsma’s absence.