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Maholm isn't concerned with sore elbow

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers starter Paul Maholm has mild elbow tenderness that has kept him from throwing off a mound in recent days, but he downplayed the seriousness on Thursday.

"I'm just being smart and understand what's needed to prepare for the season," said Maholm, who signed at the start of Spring Training. "I only really missed one bullpen session today and I expect to throw a bullpen Saturday, and it won't set me back."

Maholm was signed as protection in case fifth starter Josh Beckett isn't sufficiently healed from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. But Beckett actually is ahead of Maholm, and in either case, the Dodgers don't need a fifth starter until the middle of April.

"I'm not concerned with it," said Maholm, who described the current tenderness as different from discomfort he fought through last September while pitching for Atlanta. "I've learned what I can push through. I think this is from standing around and all of a sudden making a throw and there's a little soreness. I'm just being cautious."

Maholm and Brandon League (lat strain) are the only Major League pitchers at Dodgers camp who have not thrown batting practice yet.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for
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