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03/31/08 4:45 PM ET

Gallardo slated for rehab start

Right-hander to pitch for Triple-A Nashville on Friday

CHICAGO -- Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo will be active this week, after all.

Not for the big league Brewers, who had to build their starting rotation without Gallardo after he underwent knee surgery on Feb. 19. But for Triple-A Nashville, who will hand the ball to Gallardo on Friday when the Sounds play their second game of the season, on the road against the New Orleans Zephyrs.

It will be the first of at least two Minor League rehabilitation starts for Gallardo, who is also penciled in to start a game at Oklahoma City on April 9. If the team deems it necessary, Gallardo also could start in Nashville on April 14 against the Iowa Cubs.

"We scheduled three [starts] but told him we would talk after two," Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said.

Gallardo threw 54 pitches in a successful three-inning stint on Sunday at Maryvale Baseball Park, where a number of players are participating in extended Spring Training camp. Brewers starters Carlos Villanueva (six innings, 80 pitches) and Manny Parra (six innings, 84 pitches) also took part in that game, then joined the team in Chicago late Sunday night.

The Brewers will face a decision when Gallardo returns. Dave Bush, Villanueva and Parra all have Minor League options and could be sent down to Nashville. The team will not make that call until it has to.

Gallardo, who turned 22 last month, entered last season as the Brewers' top prospect and made his Major League debut in June. He went 9-5 with a 3.67 ERA in 30 Brewers appearances, including 17 starts, and was named the team's pitcher of the month in July (2-1, 2.67 ERA) and September (3-1, 1.36 ERA).

He would be been a lock for the Opening Day rotation, but Gallardo suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee during a mound session in Fort Worth, Texas, just before the start of Spring Training.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.