Saito plays catch, eyes return next week

Saito plays catch, eyes return next week

WASHINGTON -- Initially the Braves were hoping Takashi Saito might be able to rejoin their bullpen mix this weekend. But instead of testing his sore right shoulder with a bullpen session on Friday, the Japanese reliever simply played catch.

"I didn't throw as hard as I could, but it still didn't feel that bad," said Saito, who remains hopeful that his recent right shoulder discomfort is simply a product of tendinitis.

Saito hopes to be able to throw a bullpen session before the Braves conclude this weekend's series against the Nationals. This presents the possibility that the 40-year-old righty could begin pitching again during next week's series against the Marlins.

"I gained a little confidence, but I kind of felt that I could throw as much as I did today," Saito said through his interpreter. "It's what's ahead that I'm still not sure about."