MIAMI (AP) -The return of Cole Hamels to the Philadelphia Phillies' rotation has been postponed at least a week.
The All-Star left-hander was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday at Florida when he felt elbow discomfort during a bullpen session. He has been on the disabled list because of a strained elbow since Aug. 22, and his most recent game was Aug. 16.
Hamels won't throw for six days, and it might be two weeks before he rejoins the rotation, he said Friday.
``I'd like to make the sure the discomfort I feel is at a minimum,'' Hamels said. ``If I didn't do anything for a month, I'd be healed, but we've got to play. It's something that's never going to fully heal until the offseason. So it's just a matter of trying to go out there.''
An earlier MRI exam showed no structural or ligament damage. Hamels began a six-day regimen of anti-inflammatory medication Friday.
``From there they're going to see how I feel, and I'll start throwing again and try again,'' he said.
Said assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.: ``We don't believe this to be anything long-term.''
Hamels is 14-5 with a 3.50 ERA. The Phillies have surged without him, cutting their deficit in the NL East to two games by sweeping a four-game series this week from the division-leading New York Mets.
Hamels cut short a bullpen session Thursday, throwing 25 pitches instead of 45 as planned. He said he felt discomfort when he extended his arm on fastballs.
``It was hindering me from pitching with my proper mechanics,'' he said. ``It was changing my delivery, and obviously that's not going to help.''
Hamels, 23, has thrown 167 1-3 innings this season, the most in his professional career. Adam Eaton (9-8, 6.23 ERA) will start in his place Sunday against the last-place Marlins.
The Phillies have been plagued by injuries all season. Right-hander Freddy Garcia had shoulder surgery Thursday, nearly three months after he threw his last pitch of the season.
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