CHICAGO (AP) Kansas City Royals right-hander Kris Medlen will come off the disabled list on Monday, taking another step in a comeback from his second major elbow surgery.
Medlen last pitched in the majors in 2013 with Atlanta. He missed last season after he got hurt in spring training and had Tommy John surgery in March 2014. He also was sidelined for much of the 2011 season after he had the same operation in August 2010.
''I had a pretty good time this time going through it compared to last,'' Medlen said after Kansas City's 4-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. ''With this good of a team and this good of people to be around, it's made it a lot easier and watching some really good baseball, it's got me pretty fired up to come back.''
Medlen rejoined the AL Central-leading Royals on Friday, and manager Ned Yost said he will be added to the bullpen before Kansas City begins a three-game series against Pittsburgh.
''He's going to be a long guy, but these things always seem to work themselves out, so I envision him long term being a starter,'' Yost said.
The 29-year-old Medlen had success as a reliever and a starter during his time in Atlanta. He was 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 50 appearances with the Braves in 2012, including 12 starts. He had 15 wins and a 3.11 ERA the following year, making 31 starts and throwing 197 innings.
Medlen signed an $8.5 million, two-year contract with Kansas City over the winter.
''I was very fortunate to get an opportunity and go through the whole process and all that,'' he said.
''I'm just happy to be here and happy to be in this position where we can get a chance to get back to the postseason.''
With Medlen's return on the horizon, the Royals recalled right-hander Yohan Pino from Triple-A Omaha and optioned reliever Brandon Finnegan to their top farm club before the finale of their four-game set at Chicago.
Finnegan pitched two scoreless innings and got the win in Kansas City's 7-6 victory on Saturday. The Royals used seven relievers in the 13-inning win after they split a doubleheader with the White Sox on Friday.
''We're going to probably make the move with Finnegan tomorrow anyway when Medlen comes back,'' Yost said. ''With him throwing 30 pitches yesterday, getting the win for us, probably would not be available for today so we made the move today, get a fresh arm up here.''
Finnegan, the 17th overall pick in the 2014 draft, is 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA in 14 games this year with Kansas City. Pino is 0-2 with a 3.26 ERA in seven appearances with the Royals this season.