D-backs' Davis throws 65 pitches in simulated game, plans to return soon

PHOENIX -- Only 26 days after surgery for thyroid cancer, Arizona left-hander Doug Davis felt strong during a 65-pitch simulated game on Monday.

"I could have gone out there for a couple more innings at least," said Davis, who had his thyroid and surrounding tissue removed on April 10. "I really felt like I was in the shape I need to be in to compete."

The 32-year-old Davis is scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Tucson on Saturday or Sunday and will make one more start in the minors before rejoining the Diamondbacks' rotation, probably during a May 20-22 series at Florida.

Davis, who is taking thyroid medication, will have a CT scan Friday to determine whether any cancerous cells remain.

Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said he was pleased with Davis' simulated game. Davis pitched with Chase Field's roof open on a 90-degree day.

"I couldn't believe, one, the command, [and] two, the endurance at the end," Melvin said. "It was pretty hot out here, too, and his pitch quality was as good at the end as it was at the beginning."

Rookie righty Max Scherzer was set to make his first major league start Monday night against Philadelphia, taking Davis' turn in the rotation, and will remain there until Davis returns. Davis went 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in two starts before his operation.