After playing catch, Maholm eyes next step

After playing catch, Maholm eyes next step

ATLANTA -- After resting his left wrist Tuesday from four straight days of light tossing, Braves starter Paul Maholm resumed playing catch on Wednesday afternoon with the hope that he could begin throwing side sessions in the bullpen as early as this weekend.

"I'm hoping whenever I play catch today, it feels as close to normal as possible, and then I continue to progress and get on the mound," Maholm said. "Once I'm able to get on the mound, I can get on the mound every other day until I'm able to throw in a game."

The first day Maholm is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list is Aug. 5, one day after rookie Alex Wood is expected to fill his spot in the rotation for the third time. Maholm is aiming to return to action the following time that rotation spot comes up -- Aug. 10 against the Marlins -- but he understands the temperamental nature of the left wrist contusion that has bothered him since July 10.

"I'm not a very good DL patient," Maholm said. "I'm going to push it, but I also understand the team's playing well and I don't want to go out there and not be 100 percent and have a setback. My goal is to get that rotation spot the next time around, and we'll just have to see how that goes."

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