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Benitez might be back this weekend


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MIAMI -- An encouraging MRI result has given Armando Benitez peace of mind that there is no major damage to his right elbow.


But the Marlins' All-Star remains uncertain when he will resume his closer role.


Right elbow inflammation has kept Benitez out of action since July 22, when he worked 1 2/3 innings for a save at Philadelphia.


The following day, Benitez experienced stiffness in the elbow, and on Tuesday he underwent an MRI as a precaution.


"I feel much better," he said on Wednesday.


Benitez is listed as day-to-day, but says he will begin throwing on Friday. That day he hopes to play catch. If the elbow responds favorably, it will be a matter of when he feels comfortable enough to return.


"Two more days, I'll start to play catch," says the veteran, who has 33 saves in 36 chances.


After his last save at Philadelphia, Benitez woke up the next day with his right arm puffed up more than his left.


"I said, 'This is no good,'" Benitez said. "There is a little inflammation."


Knowing that the MRI was negative has Benitez encouraged that he will not miss much time.


"Before [the MRI] you didn't know what you had," he said. "Now, we know and can stop the inflammation. Now I know what the problem is, and I'm doing what I have to do to be healthy."



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