Paul Maholm injury: Braves LHP has no structural damage in elbow

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

For once, the Braves sent a pitcher to get his elbow checked out and the result didn't involve Tommy John surgery.

Atlanta Braves left-hander Paul Maholm has no structural damage in his throwing elbow according to a dye-cast MRI taken Wednesday, reports Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Maholm, 31, has been dealing with discomfort in his elbow since his Sept. 2 start vs. the Mets. The southpaw stuck it out for his start against the Phillies on Sunday -- throwing six frames of two-run ball -- then the Braves decided to get his arm checked out in Atlanta when the pain continued to linger.

The Braves plan to scratch left-hander from his Friday start then re-evaluate the situation when his spot comes up again next week. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said that even if the MRI revealed that his elbow was in perfect condition, Maholm would have needed three or four days of rest due to the dye injection in his elbow.

Maholm owns a 4.35 earned-run average in 24 starts for the Braves this season. He's not expected to be one of the club's top three starters when the postseason rolls around, so his absence shouldn't have too much effect going forward, but it's always nice to have another lefty arm around just in case.

Georgia native David Hale will make his MLB debut in Maholm's place on Friday; he'll face the Padres at Turner Field. The 25-year-old owns a 3.22 ERA in 114⅔ innings for Triple-A Gwinnett this season.

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