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Neshek aims to return to action 'within a month'

Phillies option Curtis to Triple-A , recall Thompson
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Pat Neshek said Thursday morning that he could rejoin the Phillies' bullpen within a month.

But that is just a guess. An MRI exam earlier this week revealed a strained muscle in his right forearm. Neshek said he could begin throwing again in a week if the muscle heals. If it does not, he must wait longer to throw, which will delay his return.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Pat Neshek said Thursday morning that he could rejoin the Phillies' bullpen within a month.

But that is just a guess. An MRI exam earlier this week revealed a strained muscle in his right forearm. Neshek said he could begin throwing again in a week if the muscle heals. If it does not, he must wait longer to throw, which will delay his return.

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"It's a muscle, so it's rest," Neshek said about treatment. "Rest is going to heal it up. You just kind of play it by feel. It could be good in a week. If that's the case, we'll start doing the same thing and get back at it."

Neshek has not throw a pitch this season. The Phillies placed him on the 10-day disabled list March 30 with a strained right shoulder. Neshek said Thursday the shoulder feels great and he had been progressing well through bullpen sessions before he felt discomfort while throwing his slider.

"I was literally an hour away from getting in a car and going to the airport [to begin a rehab assignment]," Neshek said. "I felt that when I was playing catch with my slider on my third-to-last pitch. I shut it down and went inside. They mentioned MRI and I said, 'Don't. It's not a big deal.' The MRI ended up showing a little bit of stuff in there. It showed the strain.

"I could see myself within a month throwing for the Phillies. I'm not sure. I really don't know."

Curtis optioned, Thompson recalled

The Phillies on Thursday optioned left-hander Zac Curtis to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. They recalled right-hander Jake Thompson, who joins the team for the first time this season.

With the move, the Phillies do not have a single left-handed pitcher on their 13-man pitching staff.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Pat Neshek