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04/13/08 1:49 PM ET

Gallardo to make one final rehab start

If no setback with knee, righty to join rotation after Triple-A start

NEW YORK -- The Brewers returned right-hander Yovani Gallardo to Triple-A Nashville on Sunday, but barring a setback with his surgically repaired left knee, he will not be there for long.

"He'll pitch a rehab start [on Monday], and then he'll move into our rotation," Brewers manager Ned Yost said.

With Ben Sheets and Jeff Suppan scheduled to start the first two games of the series in Cincinnati next weekend, Gallardo's first opportunity to rejoin the Brewers could come in the finale of the road trip next Sunday, April 20. He would take the spot currently occupied by Dave Bush, who will pitch Tuesday's series opener in St. Louis.

Or, the Brewers could hold back Gallardo to pitch April 21 or 22 against the Cardinals, spots currently held by Carlos Villanueva and Manny Parra.

Yost would not say who would be bumped from the rotation to make room for Gallardo.

"It's never easy, but you put the best guys out there, the guys that are doing best," Yost said. "There are a lot of things that go into it. ... I want to see more before I make my decision."

The team brought Gallardo to New York this weekend as insurance for bad weather that never came. Had the Brewers and Mets been rained out and forced to play on Monday's off-day, Gallardo might have started for Milwaukee.

Instead, he will head down for a third Triple-A start. Gallardo was 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA in his first two appearances for Nashville and reported no setbacks in his recovery from Feb. 19 knee surgery.

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