The Atlanta Braves have shut down Eric O'Flaherty and Jordan Walden the last couple of weeks and will continue to monitor them for the foreseeable future as they recover from back and groin problems that have plagued them all spring.
O'Flaherty pulled his groin nearly a month ago when he only had a couple of bullpen sessions completed, causing him to need to build up his arm strength again. Most of the attention is given to Walden, however, who has been diagnosed with a bulging disc.
Surprisingly, Walden is expected to start throwing off a mound again this weekend after having an epidural injection in Atlanta on Wednesday. He has continued to throw on flat ground to keep his arm strength.
"I've been long tossing every day until [Wednesday]," Walden said on braves.com. "My arm is good. I've just got to get rid of my back [discomfort]."
O'Flaherty will likely throw a couple of live batting practice sessions over the next few days, and if all goes well with that, he could be throwing in a Grapefruit League game in the middle of next week.
"The only reason it has taken so long is when I first strained it, we had to pretty much shut down throwing," O'Flaherty said. "I was only about two bullpens deep at that time. Normally you show up in Spring Training with three, four or five in and then go through the whole routine."
Walden and O'Flaherty expect to join Jonny Venters as setup men for Craig Kimbrel in one of the best bullpens in baseball. Walden was acquired over the offseason from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Tommy Hanson.