John Smoltz said the pain in his shoulder has mostly subsided in 10 days of rest, and after a couple of days more he'll be ready to pick up a ball again by Sunday in Pittsburgh. He'll start by playing catch and eventually work up to a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Smoltz is gearing up to return as a reliever, he said, some time before the end of the month. "Something starting with a '2'," Smoltz said. "One of those days."
The first day with a "2 in it" is May 20 and that's the first of a three-game series against the Mets at Turner Field. That might be pushing it for Smoltz, but he's definitely improved in the last four or five days.
"There's only a little bit [of stiffness] left," said Smoltz, pointing to the trapezius muscle near his right shoulder. "The first six days, there was no change. Every day since it's gotten better."http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/braves/stories/2008/05/08/smoltz_0509.html