Joakim Soria suffers setback, now eyes July 1 return

Joakim Soria
Soria last saw game action in 2011. (USATSI)

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Rangers relief pitcher Joakim Soria is on the long road back from Tommy John surgery in his pitching elbow, and he now has a strained muscle in his chest.

Soria was nearing a return but instead will be shut down for two to three weeks, and the target for his return is now July 1, via

Soria, 28, tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow last spring and had to undergo Tommy John surgery April 3, 2012.

In his last big-league season, 2011, Soria had 28 saves in 35 chances with a 4.03 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 60 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings for the Royals. It was a down year, and he even temporarily lost his job as closer, but before that, Soria was one of the best closers in baseball for three years -- as he had a 1.84 ERA and 115 saves in 2008-10.

If Soria could regain his 2008-10 form, the Rangers would end up with a deadly back-end of the bullpen with him and Joe Nathan.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last five World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

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