Burnett has been resting his left elbow, and an irritated nerve in it, which caused discomfort and has held him out of games for more than a week. The valuable left-handed reliever in the Nationals bullpen played catch for the first time on Saturday and Sunday. He threw a light bullpen session on Monday, and after he reported feeling fine with that, he is ready to return to pitching in a game.
Burnett would receive Tuesday off; only have to play catch. If that goes off without a hitch, he would be available to pitch on Wednesday for the first time since Sept. 2.
Burnett, who had Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery in 2004, doesn’t have any ligament damage and has been dealing with symptoms similar to nerve irritation, he said. He is among the Nationals’ best relievers with a 2.49 ERA, and was effective against both left-handed and right-handed hitters as a setup man because of his sinker. After throwing off the mound on Monday, he said the bite and break of his pitches had returned.
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