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Branyan, Wood closer to returns

Branyan, Wood closer to returns

CLEVELAND -- Manager Manny Acta said Friday that first baseman Russell Branyan is "very close" to getting activated off the disabled list.

But first, Branyan must prove he and his lower back can tolerate playing nine innings at his position and playing consecutive days. Branyan's rehab assignment was transferred to Double-A Akron, where he was scheduled to play nine innings at first base on Friday night.

Closer Kerry Wood (right back muscle strain) is also nearing a return from the DL. He is scheduled to throw his third bullpen session of the week Saturday, and Acta said Wood might throw a simulated game early next week.

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