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MILWAUKEE -- Injured Brewers ace Ben Sheets may have taken a step forward on Monday, but it was a short one.
Sheets threw 13 pitches in the bullpen at Miller Park, his first mound work since going on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis early last month. The short session did not indicate a setback, according to general manager Doug Melvin.
"That's the pace they want to put him on right now," Melvin said. "He'd thrown enough pitches off flat ground so we said, 'Let's just go up and see how you feel on the mound.' ... If he feels comfortable enough, we'll do it again in a couple of days."
Sheets left the field with head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger during batting practice and was not available to comment on his session.
Sheets finished last season on the disabled list after tearing a muscle behind his right shoulder, then strained a nearby muscle in Spring Training and had to start this year on the DL. He made four starts before going down again, this time with tendinitis in the front part of his shoulder.
He last pitched on May 2 against the Astros. At that time, no one expected a month would pass before Sheets threw another pitch off a mound.
"I think any injury is a little bit of a [mental] hurdle to get over," Melvin said. "I think [for] power pitchers, it's a bigger hurdle because of the torque and the amount of energy that they exert."
Sheets is not the only pitcher missing in action for Milwaukee. Tomo Ohka has been on the DL since May 3 with a rotator cuff injury, and Rick Helling, who made more progress on Monday, has not pitched in the Majors since mid-April because of a sprained right elbow.
"We basically have to move forward without them until they tell us [they're] ready," Melvin said.
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