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Kansas City, Mo. — The Tigers are going to restart Cameron Maybin’s rehab assignment, but that doesn’t mean he’s had a major setback.

It’s more of a precautionary, cover-your-backside kind of move.

“He was close (to returning),” manager Brad Ausmus said. “I don’t expect he’s going to need a ton of games once he starts playing again.”

Maybin, who is on the disabled list with a fractured left wrist, had six days remaining on his rehab assignment in Toledo when he was struck by a pitch near the spot of the initial injury on Sunday. Tests came back clean and the healing process wasn’t hampered.

But there is swelling and soreness, and he’s not expected to play again until Saturday. Instead of wasting the final six days of the rehab assignment, the Tigers made the procedural move to recall him.

That will allow them to restart another 20-day stint once he returns to the Mud Hens’ lineup, which is expected to be Saturday.

“It’s more of a precaution,” Ausmus said. “Should it be something serious, we don’t use up all his rehab days. He was six away from being finished. So we’ve reset the clock in case it’s more serious than we think.

“But I don’t see any reason he’s going to need it all, if he comes back and picks up where he left off. Quite frankly, I’m not sure he would need the six days.”

McCann’s progress

Catcher James McCann, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 12 with a right ankle sprain, took soft toss in the batting cage and resumed his throwing program.

He has been without the protective boot for several days and he’s vowed that he will be back closer to two weeks than four. Ausmus, though, doesn’t want him to get too ahead of himself.

“He’s still got to run, hit outside (live pitching) and he’s got to squat (in the catcher’s position),” Ausmus said.

Asked if McCann would need to play some rehab games, Ausmus said, “It depends on how long we think it’ll take to get ready. If it’s just 15 days, I wouldn’t think he’d need to. But if it’s closer to four weeks, he might need to play a few games.”

McCann will be eligible to come off the DL next Tuesday.

Around the horn

…Left-hander Daniel Norris (back) made his first start for Toledo on Wednesday. He pitched four innings, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out six, but was tagged for five runs in the second inning at Indianapolis.

…Right-hander Jeff Ferrell (rotator cuff) made his first rehab start at High-A Lakeland on Tuesday. He pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit with one strikeout.

…Right-hander Mike Pelfrey’s ERA took a dive Wednesday and he didn’t throw a pitch. Following a review by the MLB, right fielder J.D. Martinez was given an error on a ball originally ruled a hit by Yankees’ Starlin Castro on April 9. The scoring change makes all four runs scored that inning off Pelfrey unearned. His ERA is now 2.79.

…Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who homered in three straight games entering Wednesday’s game, is the first Tigers catcher to hit five home runs in the first 12 games of a season. His 14 RBIs leads the American League.

...The Tigers outrighted right-handed pitcher Logan Kensing to Toledo. He was designated for assignment over the weekend and cleared waivers.

Twitter: @cmccosky

Tigers at Royals

First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Thursday, Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.

TV/radio: FS1/WWJ

Scouting report

RHP Mike Pelfrey, Tigers: He’s getting familiar with Kauffman Stadium. Pelfrey made three starts against the Royals last season, all at Kauffman, and pitched well. He was 1-2 and allowed four runs in 16 1/3 innings. During his career, though, the Royals have roughed him up (1-2, 5.34 ERA, 1.709 WHIP).

RHP Edinson Volquez, Royals: The Tigers have had his number over the years. He’s 1-4 with a 6.21 ERA in seven starts (26 runs in 37 2/3 innings). Last year in five starts, he was 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA. Miguel Cabrera is 5-for-8 against him lifetime. Justin Upton (.471) and Ian Kinsler (.353) also have hit him well.

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