MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Former All-Star closer Glen Perkins says he believes he is finally getting close to joining the Minnesota Twins after more than 13 months of rehab following shoulder surgery.

Perkins will join Double-A Chattanooga in Birmingham, Alabama, on Thursday for three planned outings. If all goes well, Perkins says "there is no reason" he shouldn't be able to join the Twins.

The left-hander made just two appearances last year before getting surgery on a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. He has experienced numerous setbacks in the rehab process. But he says his arm has felt great ever since a cortisone shot three weeks ago.

The 34-year-old Perkins says his only goal is to pitch on a big league mound one more time.