Braves ace Jurrjens says shoulder is 'really tight'
A clean MRI this week gave Jair Jurrjens relief that there's
no structural problem with his right shoulder.
Even so, Jurrjens was not ready to throw on Friday when the Atlanta Braves pitchers and catchers reported to spring training. He said tightness in the shoulder could keep him from throwing "for a week or two."
Jurrjens said Friday he expects to be ready for the start of the season, but he said he'll be behind other Braves pitchers as he works out the stiffness.
"I'm hoping in a week or two I can start playing catch a little bit," Jurrjens said. "I was throwing from the mound already back home. I don't think it will take so long to get back up. We'll see. We're going to take it slow and hopefully I can get back on the field quick."
Braves orthopedist Dr. Xavier Duralde prescribed a week of rest and treatment for Jurrjens following Wednesday's MRI, which revealed only inflammation.
"I'm happy nothing showed up," Jurrjens said. "The doctor said that's the most beautiful MRI he ever saw in his life. Everything is intact and nothing is wrong in there. I'm happy with that."
The first official workout for pitchers and catchers is Saturday. Jurrjens will spend the day "stretching and stretching" to try to regain flexibility in the shoulder.
"I'm really tight in my shoulder and I think that's where the inflammation is," he said.
Jurrjens says he made an awkward underhand throw while working out last week, causing the problem.
"Playing around and doing something stupid, I felt something," he said. "I've learned when I work out to make sure I stretch it and don't play around. It's something you learn and I'll make sure I never do it again."
Jurrjens could enter the season as Atlanta's No. 1 starter following the offseason trade which sent Javier Vazquez to the Yankees.
Jurrjens was 14-10 and ranked third in the National League with a 2.60 ERA last season.
"We take for granted that he is what he is," said Braves manager Bobby Cox of Jurrjens, who turned 24 on Jan. 29. "He was phenomenal. I think we've just grown to expect that. That's why we take it for granted.
"He's a sharp kid. He can take good stuff to the mound and, I don't want to use the word 'dominate' every time, but he came close to it last year. He's one of those special guys, he can sit on 92 the whole ball game until the seventh, then all of a sudden there's a 96 up there on the strikeout."
The Braves' projected rotation also includes Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson and Kenshin Kawakami.
Cox said he hasn't picked a No. 1 starter.