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Glavine encouraged by reduced pain in elbow
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ATLANTA — Tom Glavine said he is encouraged about the reduced pain in his left elbow after some aggressive exercises on Wednesday, and the Braves pitcher hopes to begin throwing off the mound in about two weeks.

Glavine was placed on the disabled list June 11 with a tear in his flexor tendon. He said if he continues to improve he should be able to begin throwing soon after the All-Star break.

"A lot of the point tenderness I've had I didn't have yesterday," Glavine said.

Glavine is encouraged but says he continues to recognize there is no guarantee he'll be able to pitch without having surgery.

"In talking with the doctors, they've all been very up front with me about what I have," Glavine said. "There's a lot of uncertainty. They can't tell me, 'Hey, there's a 90 percent chance you'll come back,' or 'There's a 50 percent chance you'll come back."'

Glavine is watching the calendar, with an eye on the start of the 2009 season, as he monitors the progress of his elbow. He says if has to have surgery, he doesn't want to wait so long that he wouldn't be ready for spring training.

"If it hurts, all right, I've got to get it fixed," he said. "But if it doesn't hurt, I would hate to say, 'Crap, I didn't have enough time to get it fixed.'

"Everything I'm doing now is kind of a guessing game. It's what you do in the hopes of avoiding surgery, but there's no guarantee."

Also on the mend is relief pitcher Rafael Soriano, who has been on the disabled list since June 13 with inflammation in his right elbow.

Assistant general manager Bruce Manno said Soriano should return to the team "in a couple of days," after attending to some personal matters in the Dominican Republic.

Soriano has had persistent discomfort in his elbow, but MRI exams and other tests have not found any structural damage.

Soriano met with Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed elbow reconstruction surgery on the right-hander in 2004, on June 13 when the team was in Los Angeles. Soriano, left Atlanta for the Dominican Republic when the Braves played a series in Toronto last weekend.

Soriano opened the season as the Braves' closer but has only three saves while appearing in nine games.

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