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Avilan completes bullpen but Braves still cautious

PITTSBURGH -- Luis Avilan was encouraged with the way his sore left hamstring reacted as he jogged and completed a 25-pitch bullpen session early Friday afternoon at PNC Park. But the Braves are not yet convinced they will be able to avoid placing the left-handed reliever on the disabled list.

"[The bullpen session] was just okay, nothing that you're going to say, 'Yeah, we feel good about running him out there,'" Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But it's only been two days since he came out with us thinking he pulled the hamstring off the bone. There is some progress there. So maybe we can wait a few more days until we actually need something."

After Avilan fell to the ground while delivering a pitch in Tuesday night's ninth inning and then was carted off the field, it appeared that he might be dealing with a significant injury. But the Braves continue to hold out hope that his discomfort was simply a product of a slight strain and cramping.

It does not appear Avilan will be available before Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Pirates. If he is not ready to pitch at that point, he will likely be placed on the disabled list retroactive to Tuesday.

Cristhian Martinez would be eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Monday. The other top candidates are right-handers David Carpenter and David Hale.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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