Marlins ace Jose Fernandez to return against Nationals

MIAMI (AP) Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez plans to return to the mound Saturday against Washington.

''It means the world,'' he said. ''It means a lot, not only for my piece of mind, but for our team, finishing the season strong. Going into next year everything is healthy and I'll be ready to go next year.''

Fernandez has been sidelined with a biceps strain since Aug. 7. He missed the first three months of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Fernandez threw a 75-pitch simulated game Monday and is expected to throw a bullpen session before Saturday's start.

''I don't know how many pitches or what, but whatever it is I'll be ready for it,'' Fernandez said. ''I still have to throw my bullpen and make sure everything is fine, but the plan is to pitch Saturday against Washington.''

He will be pitching Saturday at Marlins Park where he is 15-0 with a 1.14 ERA over his career. Fernandez will be looking to tie LaMarr Hoyt and Johnny Allen for the major-league record with the most home victories without a loss to begin a career at 16.

Fernandez is 4-0 with a 2.30 ERA in seven starts this season and 20-8 with a 2.26 ERA over 43 career starts.

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