March 14, 2016

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) The Los Angeles Angels might have to fill two holes in the starting rotation, with Jered Weaver dealing with chronic neck pain and C.J. Wilson suffering another setback with his troublesome shoulder.

Wilson struggled in a Saturday bullpen session, and manager Mike Scioscia said Monday it's uncertain when he'll return to the mound. Wilson will throw off flat ground this week.

''Probably back him off from the mound until he feels like he's ready to take that next step,'' Scioscia said. ''He's coming along a little slower.''

Wilson first experienced shoulder tendinitis three weeks ago. The left-hander was shut down in August to undergo surgery to remove chips and spurs from his elbow. He hasn't faced a hitter in spring training, making it unlikely he'll be ready for the start of regular season.

Weaver was back in Los Angeles to see a spine specialist Monday - the day he was supposed to make his third start. The right-hander's velocity has dropped considerably amid health issues, and he gave up three home runs in his last start.

The team announced late in the Angels' 10-2 win over Cincinnati on Monday that doctors confirmed an initial diagnosis: Weaver has a ''mild, degenerative changes in the cervical spine.'' It's uncertain when he'll resume throwing.

''Some guys are a little behind and we're seeing that,'' Scioscia said. ''But I think the prognosis for guys to get ready and be able to pitch the lion's share of the season is still good. But we have a little bit of depth that we might have to tap into.''

The news was better for lefty Tyler Skaggs, who threw against hitters in Monday's workout for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

And slugger Albert Pujols continues his rapid recovery from a November foot surgery. Scioscia said Pujols, who has only served as designated hitter, should play first base before the end of spring training.

''I feel good and hopefully I'm going to progress and try to get better,'' Pujols said. ''My target is to be ready for opening day.''

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