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Twins notebook, 5/29

May 30, 2011

Nathan’s soreness not unusual after surgery

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins reliever Joe Nathan got encouraging news on Sunday from Dr. David Altchek, who performed his Tommy John surgery last March.

After taking a look at the MRI of Nathan’s elbow, Altchek said what he saw was not unusual in the process of returning from the surgery.

“We talked to Dr. Altchek, who performed the surgery, and he said that’s a very common area for guys that have problems to get some inflammation and some soreness in that area,” Twins head trainer Rick McWane said. “That’s where they split the muscle to go in and perform the surgery, so [Nathan’s] got some scar tissue in there.”

McWane noted the MRI showed some inflammation in Nathan’s forearm, his flexor pronator and his flexor pronator tendon.

Unfortunately for Nathan, his aggressive rehab may have played a role in the setback. But it’s still not something the Twins are particularly concerned about.

“[Altchek] said particularly, guys that really work hard in their rehab, the ones that really get after it, which Joe did, are more susceptible to having this problem for some reason or another than guys that don’t,” McWane said. “He wasn’t overly concerned about it, and we’ll just have to take a few steps back and let it calm down.”

If Liriano is to start, must pitch ‘pen session next

MINNEAPOLIS — If lefty Francisco Liriano is to make his next start, the key date is Tuesday, when he’ll need to throw a bullpen session.

Liriano was scratched from his scheduled Saturday start with soreness in his left shoulder, and an MRI revealed inflammation but no structural damage, Twins head trainer Rick McWane said Saturday.

“Liriano is feeling a lot better today, he’s in there working out,” McWane said. “He understands and knows that he has to throw a bullpen on Tuesday if he’s going to make his next start.”

If Liriano cannot make his next start, Swarzak will get the nod once again, after tossing eight innings of one-hit shutout baseball Saturday night.

The Twins remain unsure of whether Liriano would go on the disabled list if he could not throw his bullpen Tuesday or make his next scheduled start.

“That’s up in the air, too,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “If he ends up missing it and he’s still sore and everything … it sounds like he’ll probably be able to go out there and throw. But if it comes up that he’s having issues out there, [the DL] would be something we would definitely think about. Back him off and just give him a couple weeks here to regroup.”

Designated hitter Jim Thome got a cortisone shot in his left shoulder after Saturday night’s 1-0 victory over the Angels, and was a game-time decision Sunday. McWane said Thome was pretty sore, but moving around before the game Sunday morning.

Lefty reliever Glen Perkins is still progressing, getting closer to taking the next step in his rehab.

“He played catch at 60 feet today without pain,” McWane said. “We’ll start him on a graduated throwing program during the next couple days.”

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