Injured Stauffer plays catch for second time

Injured Stauffer plays catch for second time

SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Tim Stauffer, who went on the 15-day disabled list on Opening Day with a strained right elbow, played catch for the second time in as many days on Wednesday.

Stauffer played catch in the outfield two hours before the Padres faced the D-backs in the second game of a three-game series at Petco Park.

Manager Bud Black said last weekend that it might be a week before Stauffer picks up a ball again. But Stauffer felt fine Tuesday to the point where he could play catch to test the elbow.

"The inflammation is down," Stauffer said. "I'm expecting it to feel fine. It's nothing too exciting ... but that's better than not feeling good."

Stauffer, who until late in Spring Training was on schedule to be the Opening Day starter, is still at least three weeks away from pitching in the big leagues, Black said.

That might be a conservative figure as Black said Stauffer still needs to progress to the point where he can throw 90 feet from flat ground and then bullpen sessions before he's sent out on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment of undetermined length.

But, for now, playing catch is fine with Stauffer.

"That's about the extent I know," he said.