ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Angels right-hander Garrett Richards played catch Monday for the first time since being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament on May 6.Richards has been getting stem cell treatments in hopes of avoiding Tommy John surgery. He made 25 throws from 45 feet without pain.Everything felt 100 percent normal, Richards said. I know its just the first day, but I felt good so far.Richards began a strength program after imaging showed healing in the ligament. He had more imaging Monday morning and was then cleared to begin a throwing program. Hes aiming to be healthy for spring training next season.I went back in for another visit today to kind of make sure that what I was doing in the last 12 days or so wasnt compromising what we had accomplished. Everything checks up nice, Richards said. Even the areas we were more concerned about the last time were looking even better than last time. Its moving in the right direction and weve gotten nothing but positive news up until this point.Richards hopes to get back on a mound in late September and pitch in the fall or instructional league to test his breaking pitches and face live hitters.I definitely need to test it before the offseason comes, Richards said. Ill have to compete and Ill have to be in a game before I shut it down for the offseason.Richards is 1/3 with a 2.34 ERA in six starts this season and was 15-12 with a 3.65 ERA in 32 starts in 2015. His return next season would be crucial for Los Angeles because Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano elected to have Tommy John surgery and will likely be out all of next season.Nice to get a bit of good news for a change, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. Garrett is a guy who is important. Getting him back makes filling some of the other spots easier. 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Adil Rashid has defended his request to be omitted from Yorkshires final County Championship match of the season, against Middlesex at Lords starting tomorrow, citing a family illness as the reason for his absence.Rashid, whose busy year has included stints with Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash and a leading role in Englands World T20 campaign in India, asked to be excused from Yorkshires potential County Championship decider because he needed to rest ahead of Englands tour of Bangladesh, which gets underway at the end of the month.Yorkshire go into the final round needing victory against the current leaders, Middlesex, to have any chance of securing their third title in a row, and they will have to do so without the services of either Rashid or Jonny Bairstow, who was controversially refused permission by the ECB to take part in the contest.Jason Gillespie, preparing for his final match as Yorkshire coach, told ESPNcricinfo: Im obviously frustrated about Rash and I said to him I hope he doesnt regret the decision he has made. But I fully respect his decision. He has played a lot of cricket and he feels he needs a rest.However, in a pointed tweet, Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale, who has been known to let his emotions show in the past, posted: Yes, he wants to rest. Thats his decision. Ill take 11 lads on the field who will give everything to win.While the club itself sttopped short of criticising their player, who has claimed 32 wickets at 33.dddddddddddd.84 and 393 runs at 28.07 in ten Championship appearances this season, Yorkshires supporters have not been so kind, and in a statement posted on his Twitter account on Monday, Rashid insisted his decision had been influenced by a family member, believed to be his grandmother, being admitted to hospital.Unfortunately I have not travelled down with the Yorkshire lads this week as one of my closest family members has been very ill and was recently admitted to hospital, read the statement. I didnt feel that I am in a strong enough mental frame of mind to be at my best, although I did make myself available if I was required to play [if] I felt I could be letting the lads down. But coupled with my personal reasons I have also had a heavy period of cricket recently for Yorkshire and England which has been both physically and mentally draining and it is very unfortunate timing.Family comes first for me and I will be away on England duty this winter with a busy playing schedule. I have been in touch with the Yorkshire players and coaches and I will be wishing the lads all the best this game and I am desperately hoping we can lift the trophy for a 3rd year in a row. Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Cheap Stitched Jerseys NFL Jerseys China Wholesale NFL T-shirts ' ' '