DETROIT (AP) -The Tigers expect to get pitcher Dontrelle Willis back Thursday, but will use him out of the bullpen at first.
Manager Jim Leyland said Wednesday the club expected Willis to come off the disabled list before the following day's game against Seattle. Right-hander Armando Galarraga - the man who replaced him - will remain in the starting rotation.
Willis, on the disabled list because of a hyperextended right knee since April 12, went 1-1 with 4.41 ERA in three rehab starts at Triple-A Toledo. He won his most recent start after allowing a run and five hits while striking out four in six innings Saturday at Columbus.
He came to the Tigers in an offseason trade along with slugger Miguel Cabrera, but has pitched just five innings for the club. He left during the first inning of his second start at Chicago after he slipped off the mound while delivering a pitch.
Leyland said he hoped the time in the bullpen would give the lefty time to ``get Dontrelle Willis back to the Dontrelle Willis we know.''
Galarraga (3-1), who shares the team lead for wins, is scheduled to start Friday against Minnesota's Boof Bonser.
Leyland did not say who would be sent down when Willis returns.
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