Fulmer says right elbow inflammation is gone

Tigers righty nears return; Norris throws successful bullpen

August 8th, 2017

PITTSBURGH -- Tigers right-hander said on Tuesday that the inflammation in his right elbow that landed him on the disabled list last week is gone. He'll see a team doctor on Wednesday to make sure.

Assuming that opinion holds, Fulmer should be able to resume throwing and prepare to eventually rejoin the rotation.

"It's been gone for four or five days," Fulmer said before Tuesday's game against the Pirates. "I knew it was going to go away; that's kind of why I fought the DL a little bit. ... I was honest when I said it was something minor, no big deal."

Still, the Tigers have good reason to be cautious with their reigning American League Rookie of the Year. Beyond the club's position in the standings, the Tigers want to lessen the risk of a worse injury.

That will likely mean they keep a close eye on Fulmer once he begins throwing.

"He feels fine," manager Brad Ausmus said. "He's dealt with it for a couple years. This just seemed to be a little bit more progressive. It doesn't really bother him on his side [sessions], so I don't know that we'll know [if the issue is gone] until he pitches."

Norris on track

Fulmer was the second injured Tigers starter with good news on Tuesday. Left-hander , who's on the DL with a left groin strain, threw a 40-pitch bullpen session and felt fine. He could throw a simulated game at Triple-A Toledo on Friday, Ausmus said.

Norris threw the equivalent of two innings, sitting down midway through in order to simulate the break between innings and see how his groin responded.

"It's everything I've been doing in rehab with [physical therapist Robbie Williams]," Norris said. "We've been getting after it every day. I get to the field and I have zero down time. We're working all day and then game time is the only time I get to rest. We've been working hard and my legs have really benefited from that, being able to build that endurance up and strengthening."

Working hard has never been an issue for Norris. The difference now is working smart, adding agility exercises to his strength maintenance.

"I've been doing a lot in my workouts," Norris said, "but I need to focus more on mobility, because that's where some of these aches and pains come from, being too tight."

That might also explain some of Norris' previous injuries, including oblique strains in each of the previous two seasons.

The Tigers have not yet scheduled whether Norris will throw another bullpen session or go back out on a Minor League rehab assignment.

Quick hits

• Outfielder Alex Presley is expected to join Toledo to begin an injury rehab assignment on Wednesday. Presley has been on the DL since July 29 with a lower right oblique strain, but he has been responding well to workouts.

• Shortstop , who went on the bereavement list on Sunday, will rejoin the team on Wednesday, according to Ausmus. was optioned back to Toledo after Tuesday night's 6-3 loss.

• Class A West Michigan shortstop Isaac Paredes, one of the prospects the Tigers received from the Cubs in the /Alex Avila trade, homered twice in a four-hit game for the Whitecaps in their 15-7 win over Lake County. The 18-year-old has three homers in his last two games, and four since joining the Tigers' system a week and a half ago.