Max Scherzer says he's "ready to pitch."
The three-time Cy Young winner threw a 65-pitch simulated game Saturday, according to ESPN. He's set to throw a bullpen session Monday and will be activated from the injured list ahead of Thursday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates unless he suffers another setback in his recovery from a rhomboid strain.
"He'll be on his normal schedule now and then if everything goes well, he's probable for Thursday," Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters Sunday.
Scherzer was originally placed on the IL July 13. After returning to make one start July 25 against the Colorado Rockies, he wound up back on the IL four days later.
The 35-year-old experienced some soreness Sunday morning but said, "Everything feels right where it should be."
He explained, "There's no extra soreness other than what I anticipated. To me, that's right on par."
His return would be huge for the Nationals, who hold the first wild-card spot in the National League and sit 5 1/2 games back of the Atlanta Braves for top spot in the NL East.
Scherzer is 9-5 this season with a 2.41 ERA and 189 strikeouts in 134 1/3 innings.