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Hyun-Jin Ryu pitches two scoreless innings in Cactus League debut

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Los Angeles Dodgers

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 11: Starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of the MLB spring training game at Camelback Ranch on March 11, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Dodgers’ left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu made a triumphant return to the mound on Saturday after missing nearly two full seasons with elbow and shoulder injuries.

Ryu tossed two scoreless frames against the Angels, striking out two of the first three batters he faced and allowing just one single to designated hitter C.J. Cron in his 26-pitch outing. He also executed a flawless catch after Shane Robinson grounded out to first:

Ryu finished his outing with a simulated inning out of the bullpen, all very promising for someone who didn’t look capable of throwing a baseball several months ago. Prior to undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in 2015, the southpaw touted an impressive 3.17 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 7.7 SO/9 in two major league seasons with the Dodgers. He’s endured further setbacks to his health over the last year, including a minor groin strain and a debridement procedure on his left elbow, but finally appears healthy enough to work his way back up to a full-time gig.

While the 29-year-old is still considered a long shot to make the rotation by Opening Day, he’ll have approximately four more starts to tweak his mechanics and get stretched out before the 2017 season kicks off.

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