Cole to make first rehab start on Monday

Cole to make first rehab start on Monday

DENVER -- Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole will begin his rehab assignment Monday following his hefty 60-pitch bullpen session Friday in Indianapolis as he works his way back from right lat soreness.

Cole, who hasn't pitched since the injury occurred on July 4, will make his rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis in Rochester and be on a pitch count between 80-85.

Cole felt fine physically after tossing a 70-pitch simulated game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, a promising sign considering how his last return from the disabled list went.

Cole threw three simulated games after missing most of June with shoulder fatigue, but didn't go out on a rehab assignment. In his first start back, Cole tied a career-worst by surrendering five runs to the Mets. In his second start, Cole racked up five shutout innings before departing with his current injury.

The Pirates are playing it safe this time around and if all goes well Monday, Cole is expected to rejoin the rotation shortly after.

Cole owns a 7-4 record and a 3.78 ERA 14 starts into his sophomore season. He's also struck out 78 over 85 2/3 innings pitched.

Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.