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Mota could be back in 2 weeks

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SAN DIEGO -- Encouraged by a five-minute bullpen session Friday, Marlins closer Guillermo Mota feels he can be a little more than a week away from returning to action.

Before the Marlins faced the Padres on Friday at PETCO Park, Mota threw off the mound for the first time since he went on the disabled list May 1, retroactive to April 24.


"I threw like 40 pitches, fastballs and changeups," said Mota, who is recovering from elbow inflammation. "I wanted to keep going."


At the advice of the medical staff, Mota didn't push it Friday. If his arm feels fine Saturday, he will again throw off the mound Sunday, where he will test all his pitches.


From there, the closer likely will have one more bullpen session next week at Dodger Stadium. Before he is activated, he will face hitters, which could come as early as next Friday, May 20, in Florida.


An optimistic return date could be May 22 against the Devil Rays in Miami.


"We'll see how my arm responds," said Mota, who has two saves. "On Sunday, I want to let it go to see how my arm responds."


Mota said he was throwing at about 70 percent velocity Friday.


That will change on Sunday.


"I want to test my arm," he said. "I want to throw hard and see if my arm is fine."


In Mota's absense, Todd Jones has collected three saves in as many chances.


"We're not at that stage yet where we're concerned with rushing him," manager Jack McKeon said.





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