Britton plans to test ankle playing catch

Britton plans to test ankle playing catch

BALTIMORE -- Orioles All-Star closer Zach Britton said Monday's MRI on his left ankle revealed no structural damage, just inflammation.

"I think this week is a good timeline," Britton said of a return from the ankle sprain suffered during the ninth inning of Saturday's game. "It's not going to be today, but I'm not sure if it's going to be tomorrow or the next day."

Britton has been encouraged with his progress every day since the injury. How his ankle responds to playing catch will help determine the next step and will give a more concrete timeline.

"I feel a lot better [compared to Saturday night]," Britton said. "I think flexibility, range of motion is back. It's just swollen. It's got some bruising, but as long as I can manage the pain, I think that's going to be the biggest issue. Right now is, 'Does it hurt me doing baseball things?' Covering first, fielding a bunt or whatnot -- those are things that I'm going to have to test out. Whether it's today, I'm not sure. I'm just going to go out there and play catch and see how it goes."

The lefty sinkerballer has a 2.70 ERA, and the run he allowed on Saturday was just the third run he's given up this season.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.