Jonny Venters hasn’t recovered from an elbow injury sustained in the final week of spring training, and the Braves reliever is headed back for another visit with Dr. James Andrews.
He’ll see the renowned orthopedic surgeon Thursday in Pensacola, Fla. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez declined to speculate on the odds that Venters would require another surgery.
Andrews did the ulnar-collateral ligament reconstruction – aka Tommy John surgery — that Venters had after the 2005 minor league season.
Andrews examined Venters after the injury this spring and gave him a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow on April 2 in hopes of hastening his recovery and avoiding surgery. The PRP injection was viewed as exotic treatment a decade ago, but has become popular among professional athletes as a means to reduce recovery periods.
Venters was told to rest the elbow for four weeks before resuming a throwing program. He followed that plan and was encouraged by his initial flat-ground throwing sessions after he began throwing again just over two weeks ago.
But when he threw off a mound for the first time on Thursday in San Francisco, Venters had soreness in the elbow and cut short the planned 15-20 pitch session. He tried again Friday and said that, while he made it through about 15 pitches and liked how the ball was coming out of his hand, he had the same discomfort as the day before.