After Jonny Venters received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his bothersome left elbow from Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday morning, the Atlanta Braves are now saying they hope he can return by the end of May, braves.com reports.
The language clearly indicates uncertainty surrounding the situation, during which Venters will be shut down for four weeks before starting a throwing program. Andrews has already performed Tommy John surgery on Venters in 2005.
"It's somewhat what we were expecting," general manager Frank Wren said. "But we wanted to make sure the surgeon who performed the surgery had a chance to look at him."
His throwing program will aim to rebuild the arm strength Venters will lose while resting and could take upwards of a month or even longer.
Venters was forced to leave his final Grapefruit League appearance last Thursday against the Detroit Tigers with discomfort in the elbow. Adding to the oppacity of the situation is the fact that while the elbow seems structurally sound, an MRI hasn't been done.
The lefty reliever has appeared in 320 games since 2010. The toll may have led to his career-worst 3.22 ERA last year as well as the 4.45 ERA he carried into the All-Star break. The fact that a DL stint for an elbow impingement last July did wonders for him seems to indicate something bigger afoot.
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