Braves' Mike Minor returns to Atlanta for examination after more soreness in left shoulder



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ATLANTA — Braves left-hander Mike Minor had discomfort in his pitching shoulder again, pushing back his attempts to rejoin Atlanta's rotation.

Minor felt pain as he attempted to ramp up his work in Florida, president of baseball operations John Hart said Sunday. Minor began the season on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.

Minor was in the Braves clubhouse before Sunday's game against the Mets but did not speak with reporters. Hart said Minor returned to Atlanta to see team doctors and now will go back to Florida to begin throwing again.

"Obviously we're sending him back and we'll continue to manage it, but we wanted to make sure there was nothing suspicious that was going on," Hart said. "I think at the moment he's going to be back in Florida. He'll continue along in the rehab, but there's obviously some level of concern because the discomfort came back."

Minor also had shoulder soreness last spring that delayed the start of his season. He finished 6-12 with a 4.77 ERA, a significant decline from his 2013 performance, when he was 13-9 with a 3.21 ERA.

Tests have shown no structural damage. Hart said exploratory surgery could be an option if the discomfort remains, but "we are not there yet."

Minor was examined by Braves lead orthopedist Dr. Xavier Duralde. Hart said Minor was found to have "some inflammation and a little bit of an impingement" in the shoulder when he was examined several weeks ago.

"We don't have a recommendation as of yet. ... We'll just have to monitor where he is as he goes through the next week to 10 days of his rehab," Hart said.

Minor won a combined 24 games in the 2012-13 seasons. Despite his poor results last year, he ranks fifth among National League left-handers with his 3.52 ERA since the 2012 All-Star break.

Minor's spring struggles contributed to the decision to acquire right-hander Trevor Cahill from Arizona on April 2. The Braves also added Shelby Miller and Eric Stults to the rotation in the offseason.

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