PITTSBURGH -- Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is still dealing with some lingering stiffness in his right elbow, although he said Wednesday afternoon that he remains optimistic he will avoid surgery.
"There's no reason not to think that," said Wieters, who got a platelet-rich plasma injection to spur the healing last week. "We're going to continue to improve, and once we get to the point of throwing, we'll know more. But we're not going to set a date that we have to throw by."
Wieters said he's definitely improved since going on the disabled list, although he won't try to throw until he's comfortable that there's nothing else going on with the elbow. He's been receiving regular treatments from the team's training staff and been catching to keep his legs in shape.
"So there's no set black-and-white date, but I think we know where the date falls that would preclude him from starting the season next year, if he had the procedure," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who has previously said that date is July 1. "We talked about that. But it could come earlier if he doesn't feel like anything is resolving. Sure that will be a conversation.
"We keep hoping each day he will come in and say, 'Yeah, I want to test it. See how it feels.' We may not get there. [I'm] trying to stay positive."
Wieters, who will not be ready to come off the disabled list when eligible on May 26, has continued to travel with the team and been what Showalter called an extra coach in the dugout. On the field, the O's have employed a platoon of Steve Clevenger and Caleb Joseph, and will likely continue to go with matchups in Wieters' absence.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.