O'Flaherty tosses batting practice without pain

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As he completed a five-minute live batting practice session in pain-free fashion on Sunday morning, Braves left-handed reliever Eric O'Flaherty moved another step closer to making his exhibition season debut.

O'Flaherty's preseason preparations were put on hold when he strained his left groin during the first week of Spring Training. He has made steady progress over the past few weeks and is expected to be part of Atlanta's Opening Day roster.

"He had no problem at all," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said after watching O'Flaherty throw. "He looked great."

With three more weeks remaining in the Grapefruit League schedule, O'Flaherty should have time to complete all of his necessary preparations before Opening Day arrives on April 1. He made 10 appearances before the start of the 2011 season and nine before the start of the 2012 season.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.