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Braves notebook: No major injuries for Soriano

POSTED: May 19, 2008 5:00 a.m.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Braves closer Rafael Soriano can resume his throwing program after tests on his sore right elbow Wednesday revealed no major injuries.

Soriano had an MRI and a bone imaging scan. The results were examined by Braves orthopedist Dr. Xavier Duralde.

"Both showed normal so what we were really trying to do was rule out all the major things, whether it was a compromised ligament or stress fracture or things of that nature," said Braves general manager Frank Wren, who added his reaction was "relief."

"He still has some pain, but now that we’ve been able to rule out anything significant, he’ll be able to restart his throwing program with the confidence he’s not doing any further damage," Wren said.

"That’s the kind of peace of mind you need to give the players as they’re pitching through some things."

Soriano was placed on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis on April 9. The Braves sought more medical analysis because they were concerned about the persistent pain that forced Soriano to cut short a bullpen session on Tuesday. Soriano had been encouraged about his recent progress before feeling more discomfort on Tuesday.

"He has gotten better," Wren said. "He’s decreased his discomfort over the last month, but there was still some lingering there and that’s why we decided to go ahead and get it checked."

There is no timetable on Soriano’s return. He may go on a minor league rehabilitation assignment when able to throw consecutive days without pain, according to Wren.

Soriano was 9-for-12 in save chances last season and has one save this season. He was 3-3 with a 3.00 ERA.

Moylan to have surgery

The Braves will learn on Thursday if they will be without set-up reliever Peter Moylan for the rest of the season. Moylan, who opened the season as Soriano’s top set-up reliever, will have elbow surgery on Thursday in Birmingham. Dr. James Andrews may have to only remove a bone spur from Moylan’s elbow, but the Braves and Moylan are braced for possible season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Meanwhile, manager Bobby Cox said Wednesday that John Smoltz, on the disabled list for the second time this season with shoulder discomfort, "is feeling better each day."

Smoltz plans to return as a closer.

Early shower for Cox

Cox was ejected in the second inning by third-base umpire Wally Bell. It was Cox’s 137th ejection, extending his major league record, and his second this season.

Cox argued a balk call by Bell on Braves pitcher Tim Hudson. Cox and Hudson argued that Hudson stepped toward home plate, not third base, on a fake pickoff throw with San Diego’s Kevin Kouzmanoff on third base. Kouzmanoff scored on the balk.

No moves for Padres yet

The Padres did not make a roster move on Wednesday after right-hander Kevin Cameron left Tuesday night’s game with a sprained right elbow. Cameron threw only three pitches before leaving the game.

Padres manager Bud Black said Cameron was "a little sore" on Wednesday. Black said left-hander Shawn Estes, who began the season at Triple-A Portland, will be with the team on Thursday. Black said Tuesday night Cameron suffered a first-degree sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament and likely would be placed on the disabled list.

Worth noting

Braves broadcaster Joe Simpson was back on the job Wednesday after having an emergency appendectomy on Sunday. ... Matt Diaz started in left field for the first time since April 29 as the Braves faced left-hander Randy Wolf, the first in a string of five left-handers in six games scheduled to face Atlanta. Diaz has been losing playing time to Gregor Blanco, who has been playing against right-handers and is hitting .314.



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