Teheran encouraged day after lat injury

Braves waiting on righty's recovery before deciding on next start

Teheran encouraged day after lat injury

DENVER -- When Julio Teheran returned to Coors Field on Saturday, he completed all of the activities he normally does the day after a start. But even though the Braves are encouraged by how much Teheran's upper back has improved, the club will wait a couple of days before determining if their ace will make his next start.

"Last night, I was a little bit worried because I was expecting to be sore, but it's nothing out of the ordinary," said Teheran, who exited Friday night's 4-3 loss to the Rockies in the fifth inning with what the Braves' medical staff called right lat tightness.

Teheran awoke Saturday with minimal discomfort around the lat, located behind and below his right shoulder. After results of a strength test performed by Braves trainers showed significant improvement, the All-Star hurler completed his normal running exercises and shagged fly balls in the outfield during batting practice.

"He tested better than he did [on Friday]," Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. "We'll just kind of monitor it day to day. I saw him after he ran, and he said he felt OK."

Teheran hopes to be cleared to play catch before Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Rockies. If he is able to complete this activity, the Braves will have a better sense of whether he will need to miss a start or spend time on the disabled list.

Because the Braves have an off-day on Monday, they have the option to hold Teheran back until next Saturday's start against the Phillies at Turner Field. But Snitker will not make any plans until he sees how the 25-year-old pitcher progresses over the next couple of days.

"We'll know something more every day, but I think it's real encouraging what we saw today," Snitker said.

Teheran initially felt discomfort in his upper back after throwing a pitch in the third inning Friday. He was relatively pain-free during the fourth inning, but exited in the fifth at the urging of shortstop Erick Aybar, who had been made aware of the discomfort after the third.

Teheran limited the Rockies to three hits over four scoreless innings and now has a 2.16 ERA over his past 17 starts, dating back to April 20.

"The last thing that you want is to go on the DL," Teheran said. "I'm just going to keep working and hopefully it gets better. I don't want to miss any other starts. We're going to have to wait and see how I feel the next couple days."

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.