03/19/09 12:46 PM ET
Hamels fine after long-toss session
Phillies ace remains long shot to start Opening Day on April 5
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Hamels received an anti-inflammatory injection into his left elbow Tuesday because he has had inflammation there for weeks. The Phillies said an MRI exam and dynamic ultrasound revealed no structural damage to the elbow, but Hamels is considered a long shot to be ready to pitch Opening Day on April 5 against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
"I didn't feel any tightness," Hamels said. "I felt a little soreness from where the needle went in, but all the other areas where I was feeling tightness I didn't feel anything. That's great."
Of course, Hamels hasn't had problems long tossing. It's throwing off the mound that has caused him discomfort. While Hamels said he has not felt any pain while throwing, he has felt tightness in between innings and after he pitches.
"That's kind of when it would swell up," Hamels said. "When I throw a bullpen [session], I think that's going to be the test of really seeing how it feels and how I can let it go."
Hamels isn't sure when he will throw in the bullpen, although pitching coach Rich Dubee said he could see Hamels pitching in a game early next week.
Right-hander Chan Ho Park threw a bullpen session in the morning. He tweaked his left hamstring in his start Sunday against the Cardinals. He said he will know more Friday if he will be able to make his scheduled start Saturday against the Twins.
Left-hander Mike Zagurski, who is recovering from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, continues to throw to hitters and is hopeful he can pitch in game before the end of the month.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.