SAN DIEGO -- Clay Hensley continues to make progress in his rehab assignment, and he may be back with the Padres in the near future.

Hensley, a 28-year-old left-hander, hurled three innings in his start for Triple-A Portland on Tuesday night, allowing one hit and striking out three. It was the longest of eight Minor League rehab appearances for Hensley, who is recovering from labrum surgery on his right shoulder last September. He currently is on the 15-day disabled list.

"Clay is continuing to make his outings, which is a great sign," said Padres manager Bud Black. "I think that's the thing you look at primarily to make sure the health is there. And making outing after outing should give Clay a great deal of confidence that he is back and able to withstand the workload of pitching during the regular season in whatever role is thrust upon him.

"This is basically Clay's Spring Training," Black added. "He's getting ready for the time he comes back to the Major Leagues. And his stuff looks Clay-like -- fastball in the upper 80s with a good sink to it, a changeup and breaking ball. He's throwing them all. Statistically, the results look like they're OK.

"Yesterday, the ball-strike ratio wasn't too good, but he got his outs," Black said.

Hensley started his rehab assignment with Class A Lake Elsinore in late April before joining Portland, where he has an 0-1 record with a 2.25 ERA in eight games, including two starts.

Hensley was a combined 4-10 with a 6.77 ERA over 26 appearances (22 starts) between Portland and San Diego last year. He gave up Barry Bonds' 755th home run that tied Bonds with Hank Aaron for the all-time record.

Portland, which has won 14 of its last 17 games, will be getting another former Padres pitcher in Justin Germano, who cleared outright waivers and will report to the Beavers on Thursday.