Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez not ready to return

CLEVELAND - Indians closer Chris Perez will throw at least one more bullpen session and may make another rehab appearance in the minor leagues before coming off the disabled list.

Perez, who has been sidelined with a strained rotator cuff since May 27, had expected to be activated on Friday. But following a shaky outing on Tuesday at Double-A Akron, the Indians won't rush him back.

Manager Terry Francona said Perez's mechanics were off when he allowed five earned runs -- three homers -- in a one-inning stint against Trenton. In one three-pitch sequence, he gave up a home run, hit a batter and then allowed another homer. Perez also recorded two strikeouts in his second rehab outing.

Perez will receive his usual treatment on Thursday, an off day for the Indians, and will pitch a bullpen session at Progressive Field on Friday before the Indians open a three-game series with Minnesota. The team will then re-evaluate the right-hander. Francona said Perez "probably" needs another minor league stint.

"Mechanically I think he's fighting it a little bit," Francona said. "He understands when he comes in and pitches the ninth inning and the game is on the line that he needs to be in top form or pretty damn close to it. So we're going to make sure we get him there."

Perez was scheduled to play long toss before Wednesday's game. Francona said the two-time All-Star has no physical problems.

Earlier Wednesday, Perez had his court appearance for a drug charge moved to next month.

Perez and his wife, Melanie, recently pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor drug abuse after a package containing marijuana was delivered to their rental home in Rocky River, Ohio. Perez's attorney, Terry Gilbert, said Wednesday that the two-time All-Star's court appearance was waived. Perez is due in court on July 9.  

Police said they were tipped off by postal inspectors to suspicious packages mailed to the Perez home and arranged a delivery under surveillance on June 4.

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