Masset healing, but still not ready to throw

Masset healing, but still not ready to throw

CINCINNATI -- Injured Reds reliever Nick Masset didn't get bad news on the results of the MRI on his right shoulder. But Masset also didn't get the news he really wanted to hear.

That's because the medical staff did not clear Masset to resume a throwing program. He's been out on the disabled list since Spring Training with a strain inside a capsule in his shoulder.

"I got good news on the MRI. It's starting to heal up in there," Masset said Thursday. "The part of my capsule that was a little strained is healing, but it's not fully healed. For us to put this behind us and move forward, it has to heal all the way. It's going to take time. I can't give you a number, unfortunately. I was hoping to be able to throw this week. It's not going to happen."

For the time being, Masset will be limited to continuing to build arm strength and doing physical therapy.

"We don't want to have any setbacks in the future when I do start throwing," he said. "Ultimately, I don't want to hurt myself or hurt the team by coming back too early and going back on the DL. Say it was 80 percent [inflamed] before, now it's 40 percent. We're trying to get it to zero to where it's fully strong. As long as I start feeling good, it's when I will start throwing."

It's clear the Reds won't have Masset for a good chunk of the first half, but they have filled his late-inning setup role with Aroldis Chapman, Logan Ondrusek, Jose Arredondo and others. The bullpen entered Thursday with a 1.93 ERA over its last six games.

"I'm just glad we've got some other options," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You'd rather have Masset, big time. If you don't, we've got to improvise like we've been doing."