The Washington Times - July 19, 2011, 08:04PM

HOUSTON — Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang made his fifth minor league rehab start Tuesday night — and his first above Double-A — when he took the mound for Triple-A Syracuse. If all goes well for Wang health-wise, the Nationals plan for him to make one more minor league rehab start and join the Nationals’ active roster when his rehab runs out on July 27.

If Wang remains on schedule, that would mean his first start in the major leagues could come on Saturday, July 30, at home against the New York Mets. 

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“He has to be healthy,” said Nationals manager Davey Johson. “Delivery has to be free and easy. It’s like the end of spring training for him.”

The Nationals are looking for Wang to reach the 90-100 pitch mark in these last two starts and want to see his velocity remain the 90-94 range as it has been during his latest rehab starts. It would be a monumental moment for the former Yankees 19-game winner to start a major league game again after major 2009 shoulder surgery. The Nationals signed him to a $2 million one-year deal in 2010 and another $1 million incentive-laden contract for this season.

Wang would be scheduled to pitch again on the 24th of July and then the weekend of July 29-31.