Rangers “very encouraged” by Yu Darvish’s bullpen session

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Yu Darvish was scratched from his Opening Day start and placed on the disabled list with a strained neck, but the Rangers right-hander felt healthy enough to throw a bullpen session Sunday.

Manager Ron Washington told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas that onlookers were “very encouraged” by how Darvish threw, but no decision has been made yet regarding a return timetable.

Because the disabled list stint was backdated Darvish is technically eligible to return on April 5, but because he hasn’t started a game since March 16 the Rangers may want to have him build up some arm strength before coming off the shelf.

Tanner Scheppers is starting in Darvish’s place for Game 1, making the first start of his big-league career on Opening Day.