March 8th, 2011

Schlereth, Guillen take steps toward return

The injury info around Tigers camp wasn’t limited to Joel Zumaya today. Daniel Schlereth threw a bullpen session this morning without discomfort in his strained left hamstring. His last hurdle is to be able to run all-out, which he hopes to get down in the next couple days. He says he’s on track to pitch again this weekend.

Schlereth estimates he threw about 40 pitches today.

“Pitches were down for the most part,” Schlereth said, “which was a good sign.”

As for Guillen, he ran the bases for the first time today and felt fine. The big test there was changing direction as opposed to running straight ahead like he had been. He thinks a couple more times doing that, including at all-out speed, should put him close to a return. Tuesday marks three weeks left before camp breaks, and the original timetable projected Guillen to be game-ready with two weeks left.

Zumaya relieved, also a little concerned

Just talked with Joel Zumaya, who said he’s in relatively good spirits after the diagnosis from Dr. James Andrews yesterday in Birmingham, Ala. He’s relieved that there was no structural damage found after an MRI, a dye injection, a CAT scan and x-rays. But he admitted there “some concern” that they haven’t been able to pinpoint what’s causing the inflammation in his elbow.

“We’re still trying to trigger what’s causing it,” Zumaya said this morning. “Initially, they thought it was scar tissue.”

Part of the problem figuring it out is that they need to get the swelling down more.

The timetable is a little longer than what was initially reported. Zumaya said he was advised not to throw for two weeks, which he’ll follow. He’s going on a strengthening program for the next couple weeks, and they’ll check him out after that. If he’s still having problems, they’re going to go back.

What that means for his readiness for Opening Day, while nothing official, obviously isn’t good.

“I don’t really know, man,” he said. “It’s already seeming to me like I’m not going to be there.”

But if he has to miss the first couple weeks or so to get his arm right and give himself the best chance at pitching the rest of the season, he’ll take it.

“I’m not even worried about it. It could be a lot worse,” Zumaya said. “I could be ticked off. I could be not talking to you guys. But I’m really positive. They say it’s a little hump you have to get over.”

Zumaya checks out OK, rest another week

An examination from Dr. James Andrews found no major tructural damage in Joel Zumaya’s right elbow, bringing no doubt a sigh of relief from the Tigers reliever. The recommendation was at least another week without throwing in order to strengthen the arm.

The results reinforce the initial results taken last week, after scar tissue broke apart from the surgically repaired area of the elbow. What was expected to be a few days of rest has now gone more than a week, as inflammation hasn’t completely gone away. Zumaya won’t be cleared to throw until he’s completely pain free.