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Long-idled Venters eyeing bullpen session next week

Long-idled Venters eyeing bullpen session next week

ATLANTA -- Jonny Venters remains on track to throw a bullpen session next week after throwing from 120 feet on Saturday. The Braves left-hander threw from 100 feet on Friday and continues to respond well to the platelet-rich plasma injection he received in early June.

There remains no timetable for Venters to return.

"Hopefully, I'll get on the mound next week," said Venters, who has not pitched for the Braves since 2012 and underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in May 2013. "I'm getting to travel with the team, so I'm excited about that. I'm excited to get on the mound. It's been a long time off, but everything feels good and I'm excited to get it going."

There is not yet a targeted date for Venters to throw his first bullpen session, but Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Friday that the southpaw would be likely limited to 10-20 pitches in his first time throwing off the mound.

Venters, who resumed throwing on July 18, has experienced soreness and inflammation in his previous attempts to ramp up the intensity in his throwing.

"It gets frustrating," Venters said. "You go into it thinking you'll be back at a certain point and you kind of prepare yourself for that, and it doesn't happen. It's just tough. You don't know what setbacks could occur, if any, and when they do, it's kind of a bummer, but it's part of the deal. You've just got to grind through it."

Although a return date in uncertain, Venters is encouraged by his results since the PRP injection.

"I feel a lot better than I did before," said Venters, who went more than five weeks without throwing following his PRP injection. "I think it's a combination of the injection and the time off. It gives time for everything to calm down in there and get back to feeling normal. It feels really good."

Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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