After what was considered a minor setback with some elbow soreness, Jonny Venters is set to throw off the mound again Sunday and resume his throwing program in his recovery from a second Tommy John surgery.
Venters needed a week to rest a strained flexor muscle after he stopped his first live batting practice session 10 pitches into it. Now he’ll begin ramping back up with bullpen sessions and hopes to be throwing live batting practice (facing hitters) again next week.
“So far so good,” Venters said. “I want it to crank up pretty quick again and it’s doing that…It’s still stiff because I took that week off, but soreness from whatever I felt down there is kind of gone. So I’m going to keep moving forward, hopefully pitching in games here in a few weeks.”
Venters will throw three or four rounds of live batting practice before he’s ready to go out on a minor league rehabilitation assignment. He passed the year’s mark since his second Tommy John surgery on May 16 (his first was in 2006 as a minor leaguer), but the Braves had figured it would be mid-June at the earliest anyway.
Walden update: Reliever Jordan Walden has been long tossing and doing some running in his recovery from a hamstring injury. If all continues to go well, Walden is planning to get back on the mound for a bullpen session Monday or Tuesday.
“It’s feeling a lot better,” said Walden, who hasn’t pitched in a game since he strained his hamstring against the Giants on May 4. “The bruising is almost gone. It’s not as swollen.”