Rangers optimistic Darvish will return soon

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers should have a better idea of a return plan for Yu Darvish after Monday’s Opening Day game.

Darvish, who is on the disabled list with a stiff neck, is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday.

"The reports have been real, real positive to this point," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. "Let us sit down and get together before we decide on the next step. It shouldn’t take long based on how he looks and how he feels. We’re not lock into a date until we kind of take it step by step."

Darvish threw a 32-pitch bullpen Sunday and had no issues. Daniels said it may not be necessary for Darvish to make a rehab start before returning to the rotation.

"It hasn’t been in a game in two weeks," Daniels said. "I think at a minimum he needs an extended bullpen. He’s a little bit of a different guy. He knows his body. He knows how he’s feeling. I think if the staff feels like he’s all right we’ll push him out there."