No structural damage in right elbow; catcher can focus on eliminating soreness
By Andrew Simon
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Monday's MRI results assured Matt Wieters that he will avoid the worst-case scenario with his surgically repaired right elbow. The Orioles catcher still needs to get the soreness out of the joint before he can return to the field, but that scenario is far better than the alternative.
"MRI results look great, so I couldn't be more excited about those," Wieters said on Tuesday morning. "Now it's a matter of just dealing with the symptoms, get them treated and get back out there."
On Saturday, in Wieters' sixth Grapefruit League game, he unleashed a throw to second base on a Twins steal attempt and felt discomfort. He admitted it was a scary moment, especially considering that he only returned from Tommy John surgery last June.
"It was frustrating, because you work so hard. But then when I was driving home the other night, I kind of realized the expectations are that it could happen to anybody at any time," Wieters said. "So we've just got to be able to go out there and have my mind free and clear to be able to play."
Monday's MRI showed no structural damage, and no more tests are planned. That leaves Wieters to undergo treatment focused on eliminating the soreness, which will need to happen before he can begin throwing again.
When Wieters was rehabbing from the Tommy John procedure, he didn't have much time to spend on other workouts. But in this case, even while he can't throw, he is trying to do as much work as possible behind the plate in order to keep his legs strong. That way, when he is cleared to throw, he can hit the ground running.
"Today's better than yesterday, and yesterday was better than the day before, so that's the goal -- to just keep improving," Wieters said. "We're on the right track."
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.