CLEVELAND -- Indians closer Chris Perez wants to focus on returning from his injured right shoulder and not his recent legal issues.
Perez, speaking to reporters for the first time since being charged with misdemeanour drug possession after marijuana was mailed to his home earlier this month, took no questions about the incident prior to Saturday's game against Washington.
Perez and his wife, Melaine, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The two-time All-Star is on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right shoulder. He will begin a minor league rehab assignment Sunday and could rejoin the Indians next week.
Asked about his frame of mind, Perez said, "I want to get back to the team. I want to do my job well. I don't want to come back from the rehab and not to come back just to come back. I want to come back and be able to be me and help our team accomplish our goals."
Indians manager Terry Francona is supporting Perez.
"I've talked to him at length and am very comfortable he'll be just fine and he's in a good place," Francona said.
Perez, who hasn't appeared in a game since blowing a save against Boston on May 26, has thrown two bullpen sessions and is scheduled to pitch one inning for Class A Lake County on Sunday. He isn't sure if he will make more than one rehab appearance.
"We'll see how it goes," Perez said. "If I threw like I did (Friday), I'll probably need another appearance. I wasn't very sharp. I felt like my first appearance in spring training."
Perez inherited a three-run lead against Boston in his last major league outing, but struggled and couldn't finish the ninth inning. He was pulled after throwing a warmup pitch to the backstop. The Indians dropped a 6-5 decision and Perez was placed on the 15-day disabled list the following day.
"I told them I could pitch that day," Perez said. "I warmed up. It wasn't happening. I tried to pitch through it."
Perez is 2-1 with six saves and a 4.32 ERA in 17 appearances.
An arraignment has been set in suburban Rocky River Municipal Court for June 19. Police said they were tipped off by postal inspectors to suspicious packages mailed to the Perez home and arranged a delivery under surveillance on June 4.
Authorities say Melanie Perez whose maiden name is Baum, told the undercover officer delivering the packages that they were intended for her dog, named Brody. The package was addressed to Brody Baum.
Under the drug agreement between Major League Baseball and its players' association, marijuana offences generally result with the player undergoing a treatment program rather than discipline.