KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Bruce Chen threw 25 pitches in a simulated game on Monday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium and reported no problems with his ailing back.
"It felt good," Chen said. "Really good. The last three days, it really got better, significantly better."
Chen said he threw all his pitches during the workout.
"I'm a little rusty, but I can make adjustments. I should be OK," he said.
Chen has been out since April 25, and left-hander Danny Duffy has taken over his spot in the starting rotation. As yet, there's been no decision on when Chen might go to the Minors on an injury rehabilitation assignment.
"They don't want to get ahead of themselves," Chen said.
Infante activated from DL; Coleman optioned
KANSAS CITY -- Second baseman Omar Infante was reinstated from the disabled list and was in the Royals' lineup for Monday night's game against the Astros.
To make roster room, the Royals optioned pitcher Casey Coleman back to Triple-A Omaha. Coleman pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in two games since being called up on May 16.
Infante returned to Kansas City after three games on a rehab assignment with Omaha. He was 4-for-11 with a double, one RBI and one run, playing the last two games at second base after one game as designated hitter.
"I'm ready to go," he said.
Infante had been out with an inflamed and sore back since May 7. He was hitting .267 in 30 games, with eight extra-base hits and 19 RBIs -- which, at that time, led the club.
Manager Ned Yost said there would be no restrictions on Infante in the Houston series, although he'll be cautious during the following four-game series at Toronto.
"We may have to monitor his games in Toronto because that turf is tough on your back," Yost said. "But we'll just go day to day with it. We've got protection with Pedro Ciriaco and Jimmy Paredes."
Infante doubled in his first at-bat against the Astros, then went hitless in three at-bats. He was replaced for the last inning of the 9-2 loss by Paredes.
Sprained hand keeps Valencia from Royals' lineup
KANSAS CITY -- Danny Valencia's opportunity to show what he can do for the Royals at third base is still on hold.
Valencia was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game on Monday night because of a sprained left hand sustained while swinging the bat on Saturday at Anaheim. He's expected to be out another three to five days.
How does it feel?
"Not too great right now," Valencia said late Monday afternoon.
Valencia said he underwent tests including an MRI on Monday and was awaiting results. But he failed one crucial test.
"He went in to try to swing, and he couldn't swing," manager Ned Yost said.
Valencia has not been placed on the disabled list. He was replaced on Sunday at third base by Jimmy Paredes and on Monday night by Pedro Ciriaco.
"Ciriaco is a little more defensive, Jimmy's a little more offensive, as a switch-hitter," Yost said. "I want defense in there today. Simple as that."
Regular third baseman Mike Moustakas was dispatched to Triple-A Omaha last Thursday to work on his hitting, and he hit his first home run, a line drive to right field, on Saturday night against Round Rock. Moustakas, in four games for the Storm Chasers, is 3-for-15, .200.
With Moustakas away, Valencia was looking at a chance to re-establish himself as more than a platoon player.
"Absolutely," Valencia said. "When you can play in the Major Leagues every day, it's a great opportunity. You've got to make the best of it."
He opened the Royals' three-run 13th inning Saturday with a long double in the 7-4 victory over the Angels, but he also suffered a sprained left hand earlier in that at-bat.
Valencia, who was put into the lineup against left-handers as Moustakas' struggles mounted, said he understands full well where Moustakas is right now because he's been there himself.
"We've all been through that," Valencia said.
Valencia broke into the Major Leagues with the Twins in 2010, and played 154 games the next season when he had 15 homers and 72 RBIs, both career bests.
Valencia said the last time he was an everyday third baseman was "the beginning of 2012, before I got sent down [when he was hitting .198]."
He bounced around after that, logging considerable time in the Minor Leagues around stints with the Red Sox and Orioles, before getting traded to the Royals last winter for outfielder David Lough.
Valencia, 29, said he thinks he's a better player now.
"As you get older, you get more experience, you get more mature," he said. "I think it plays in there."
Maxwell has big day at dish for Triple-A Omaha
KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Justin Maxwell, playing his second game since being assigned to Triple-A Omaha, had five RBIs on Monday as the Storm Chasers beat the Round Rock Express, 6-5, at Omaha's Werner Park.
Maxwell had a two-run single in the first inning and a three-run, go-ahead homer in the eighth after Johnny Giavotella singled and Mike Moustakas walked.
Earlier in the day, the Storm Chasers lost, 4-2, in a suspended game from Saturday night in which Moustakas hit his first home run. Moustakas was 0-for-3 in the regularly scheduled game, making him 3-for-15 in his first four games.
The Royals sent two Omaha players, outfielder Melky Mesa and pitcher P.J. Walters to Toronto's Double-A club, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in exchange for cash. Mesa was hitting .285 with five homers and 10 RBIs, and Walters had a 1-4 record and a 7.97 ERA in 10 games (eight starts).
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Earl Bloom contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.