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Diamond solid in return from surgery

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Left-hander Scott Diamond was impressive in his first outing since undergoing surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow in December.

Diamond tossed two scoreless innings against Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday at the Twins' Minor League complex. He struck out three and allowed just one hit on a single hit back up the middle.

"Everything felt really good," said Diamond, who threw 23 pitches. "I was actually a little nervous at first because it was my first time off the mound. But everything felt smooth. I was able to keep the ball down and get ahead of hitters, which is kind of my game plan."

Diamond said he was expected to be placed on the disabled list March 22 with the goal of returning April 12, when the Twins host the Mets at Target Field. He said as a result he would continue pitching in the Minor Leagues, even though he wanted to get into a Grapefruit League game.

"It's going to be a little tough [pitching in Minor League games], but at this point I need to keep getting my innings up and keep progressing," Diamond said. "So I just have to focus on what will allow me to be successful in the big leagues."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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