Phillies: Aaron Nola returning this weekend

Jul 21, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) walks in from the bullpen before start of game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 21, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) walks in from the bullpen before start of game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phillies starter Aaron Nola feels ready to pitch after a back injury

Phillies fans should rejoice as the team gets ready to face the Texas Rangers Tuesday evening with the news of Aaron Nola’s return.

Manager Pete Mackanin confirmed prior to the showdown in Texas that Nola will start on Sunday against the Pirates.

In two rehab starts for the IronPigs Nola was nearly perfect, including a win Monday night where he allowed two hits over 6.1 innings.

Out of the rotation for nearly a month, Nola has been nursing a lower-back strain after making three starts. Originally expected to miss only one start, Nola suffered a setback in early May and required more rest before returning.

Nick Pivetta is expected to make his scheduled start against Texas on Thursday, and return to Lehigh Valley to make room for Nola.

Nola’s battled back and elbow issues early in his career since being drafted seventh overall out of LSU. The righty rehabbed an elbow injury over the offseason, opting to pass on Tommy John surgery.

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In 36 starts for Philadelphia Nola is 14-11 with a 4.31 ERA, and 204 strikeouts over 204.2 innings of work.

Pittsburgh has been tough on Nola early in his career, which included a six-run shelling in four innings last season. Nola’s leash could be short on Sunday as the team tries to sustain his body through an arduous season.

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