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Injured Braves continue to improve

Injured Braves continue to improve

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Billy Wagner was out sick, Jordan Schafer and Jair Jurrjens continued to progress slowly, and things continue to look good for Scott Proctor. That's the microwave version of the Braves' injury report from Champion Stadium on Friday.

Wagner had what Braves manager Bobby Cox referred to as an upper respiratory infection. After coming in early in the morning, the 38-year-old left-hander left the facility at about 8:30 a.m. ET and took the rest of the day off.

"He's feeling a little better," Cox said after the workouts.

"We're here too long to make them come in [when they're sick]."

After taking his own kind of day off on Thursday, Jurrjens continued to throw in his quest to recover from shoulder inflammation. The 24-year-old right-hander tossed a couple of sets from 90 feet on Friday with what pitching coach Roger McDowell referred to as "minimal pain."

The next step is to throw from 120 feet -- though when that will take place is still unclear -- and the Braves are still hopeful he can get on the mound next week.

"He was better during the second set," McDowell said about Jurrjens, who found out about his current ailment after undergoing an MRI last week. "It was just minimal discomfort. We'll see how he is tomorrow.

"There is a possibility, if there isn't any setbacks, that he would get on the mound next week."

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Schafer, meanwhile, continued to recover slowly from a surgically repaired left hand and took 20 dry swings. The 23-year-old outfielder, who said he sported the cast on his hand for about 18 weeks, hasn't taken batting practice since Tuesday.

For now, he's going to continue to take it easy.

"It does no good for me to rush," Schafer said. "As long as I'm ready to start the season, that's all I care about."

Cox also estimated Proctor would get in his first game action of the spring in mid-March. Proctor, who missed the entire 2009 season with the Marlins and is recovering from the Tommy John surgery he had in May, has shown pretty good progress all spring during bullpen sessions. He said Friday that "this is the best I've felt since high school."

So can the 33-year-old right-hander be ready to go by Opening Day?

"Yeah, he could," Cox said. "Depends how he feels.

"He just has to build up arm strength."

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

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