KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Jason Vargas is getting closer to returning to the Royals' rotation.
Vargas threw a simulated game on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium and will do the same on Thursday, upping the number of pitches he'll throw to the 60 range.
Out since an appendectomy on July 9, Vargas has missed three starts with fellow lefty Bruce Chen taking his spot.
"Every day that I threw, there were big progressions as far as how I felt each time," Vargas said.
On Saturday, there was no pulling sensation where the appendix was removed.
"I think I got over that hurdle the last time I got off the mound, and [Saturday], I was just pretty much focused on executing pitches and it went all right," Vargas said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.