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Injured Riske nearing rehab stint

Riske nearing rehab stint

ST. LOUIS -- Brewers reliever David Riske, on the disabled list since early April with a right elbow injury, has begun throwing off the mound and could soon be sent out for a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.

Riske, whose elbow troubles date to early this past season, threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Saturday and is scheduled to throw again on Tuesday in Houston. Riske was not sure how many times he'll need to throw before heading out to pitch in the Minors but said Saturday's session was very encouraging.

"I don't even ask," Riske said on Sunday morning. "Last year, I got so anxious and put so much pressure on myself that it got in the way. This year, I'm just letting Roger [Caplinger] and the rest of the trainers tell me when it's time to do something."

Riske was surprised by how good his arm felt on Saturday, and said he wanted to keep pitching even after reaching his 30-pitch limit.

He owned a reputation as a durable arm when he finalized a three-year contract with the Brewers during the 2007 Winter Meetings, but Riske's tenure has so far been marred by injury. He pitched with a bone spur near his right elbow for much of 2008, running up a 5.31 ERA in 45 games before succumbing to surgery.

Riske made only one appearance in 2008 before the Brewers shut him down with more elbow pain, this time caused by a stretched ligament in his elbow. Riske disputed reports from a few weeks ago, including one on MLB.com, that he might have to undergo Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery if rest didn't heal the ligament.

"Surgery was never even in the picture," said Riske, who is having trouble staying patient. "It was just a matter of getting that inflammation to go down.

"Being on the DL is way more pressure than pitching in a big league game. It's miserable."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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