O'Flaherty battling lingering back issues

O'Flaherty battling lingering back issues

ATLANTA -- Braves pitcher Eric O'Flaherty continues to battle back discomfort, but manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn't foresee having to place the left-hander on the disabled list any time soon.

"Just going from my experiences from the last time, it's three or four days, then he's good," Gonzalez said "He's a valuable piece. As soon as you put him on the DL, it's 15 days. So hopefully it's better."

O'Flaherty has pitched just once in Atlanta's last six games and hasn't made an appearance since June 15 against the Mets. He had pitched in five of the club's previous six games before the homestand began.

"It's something that you've got to manage a little bit," Gonzalez said. "When you have those little nagging injuries, like Chipper [Jones]. You hate to just [DL] a guy for 15 days.

"What are the alternatives? Until you can't [wait] anymore and you've got to do something. I don't think we're there yet."

O'Flaherty's back problems have lingered during his time with both the Braves and the Mariners. He missed most of the 2008 season with similar issues in Seattle before being waived at the end of the year.

The left-hander was expected to play some catch Sunday and may throw a small bullpen session and see how he feels, Gonzalez said.