SAN DIEGO -- Colin Rea was back in the Padres' clubhouse Tuesday afternoon, and it was almost like he never left. Even his beard -- which he was required to shave upon briefly joining the Marlins -- had begun to grow back.
Of course, Rea did leave. And during his three-day stint with Miami, before being dealt back to San Diego, he sustained an elbow injury. Rea had an MRI on Monday, and the Padres are still waiting on a diagnosis.
Rea added a bit of clarity to the entire situation when he addressed reporters on Tuesday. He said he felt soreness in his elbow prior to being dealt, but he assumed the soreness was normal. He said he had experienced it before and was able to pitch through it.
"Every pitcher kind of goes through some soreness here and there throughout the season," Rea said. "... For me, that's what it was. It wasn't anything more. It was something I was able to throw through. It didn't bother me at all. Then, obviously, in the start on Saturday, it just got a lot worse in those last couple innings to the point where I couldn't throw anymore."
The Marlins were upset that Rea went down with injury so quickly after they had acquired him. As a result, they phoned Padres general manager A.J. Preller to attempt to re-work the original seven-player deal that took place last Friday.
The Padres, who were unaware Rea was attempting to pitch through soreness, settled on returning 23-year-old pitching prospect Luis Castillo to Miami in a straight-up deal for the 26-year-old Rea.
"We went back-and-forth with them in terms of their contentions, and we had our position," Preller said. "Ultimately we felt like the best thing was to try to work something out for both sides. When it was proposed Colin for Luis, that was a deal that we liked.
"We were able to bring Colin back, we'll find out the injury part of it. If it ends up being more severe, we know we're going to get a good starter on our hands at some point in the next year."
Needless to say, it's been a whirlwind past few days for Rea.
"Being traded to the Marlins, I was definitely shocked," Rea said. "But being traded back, I was even more shocked. I actually didn't believe them when they told me. I knew the situation that was going on, but I never figured I would be going back."
Ultimately, he's happy to be back in San Diego. Rea was drafted by the Padres in 2011, and -- until Friday -- they represented the only organization he had ever known.
Upon being returned to the Padres, Rea said he received a number of elated text messages from teammates, and a phone call from manager Andy Green.
"I called him on the phone and told him how excited I was," Green said. "I mean it was just a couple days ago that I was meeting him right outside the clubhouse talking to him about how much he meant to the organization, how much he meant to me, wished him and his wife Megan well. It's actually exciting to get him back. I consider him part of the family, and look forward to his future."
Rea said he was eager for his opportunity in Miami. But given the choice, he's glad to remain a Padre. He even got to keep his No. 29 -- which the club had considered giving to Jarred Cosart at the time of the deal.
"I'm definitely more comfortable being here," Rea said. "I love San Diego, love living here. I knew going into the Marlins organization, it was going to take a while to get that comfortable. ... It's good to be back."
AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.