2008 NEWS

2008 News > 7/8/08

SOUTHPAW SATISIFIED WITH HOW HE FEELS AFTER PLAYING CATCH

By Mark Bowman, MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- It will be another couple of weeks before Tom Glavine definitely knows whether he'll pitch again this year. But the Braves southpaw was at least satisfied that his first step towards returning to the mound was successful.

After simply playing catch for approximately 10 minutes on Tuesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, Glavine said that he was satisfied with how his left elbow reacted. This was the first time that he'd thrown since elbow discomfort forced him to make an early exit from his June 10 start at Wrigley Field.

"It felt alright," Glavine said. "It was about what I was expecting. It was good enough that I'm going to do it again tomorrow."

Glavine plans to play catch again on Wednesday and then take a day off before playing catch again on consecutive days. If all goes well, he hopes to increase his effort next week with the hope that he might be able to start throwing off the mound right after the All-Star break.

The fact that Glavine didn't feel any discouraging pain on Tuesday didn't necessarily significantly enhance the odds of him pitching again this year. His true test will come when he begins to play long toss and throw off a mound. Both of these exercises will force him to stretch his elbow further.

Glavine has been sidelined since June 11 with a small tear in the left flexor tendon of his left elbow. Had he suffered this injury during the final four to six weeks of the season, the 42-year-old southpaw says he would have already undergone a surgical procedure that would have definitely ended his season.

When Glavine returned to the Braves after a five-year absence this year, he didn't rule out the possibility of pitching again next year and he's still keeping that option alive.

If Glavine realizes he won't be able to pitch again this year, he has said he'll likely undergo surgery as quickly as possible to at least give himself a chance to be ready to pitch around the start of the 2009 season.