Grilli thrilled to be in uni, not in recovery from surgery

Grilli thrilled to be in uni, not in recovery from surgery

Grilli thrilled to be in uni, not in recovery from surgery

PITTSBURGH -- It's difficult for Pirates closer Jason Grilli to be a spectator, but the way he sees it, things could be much worse. Grilli is just happy to be back with his teammates on Monday -- dressed in full gear, even if he won't take the field -- and not under a doctor's knife.

"I've been cheering from the TV the last few days," Grilli said. "It's been hard to watch baseball going on, but I'm here in this clubhouse and not on the surgery table. So this is the best-case scenario for right now."

Grilli was back after being sent home from Washington on July 22, when he injured his arm in the series opener vs. the Nationals. The club announced on Friday that he is not a candidate for surgery.

Grilli was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday after being diagnosed with a flexor strain in his right arm, and he will be reevaluated in about seven to 10 days. An estimated return date will be more clear after that followup, but Grilli said on Monday that he isn't done for the year and has dealt with much worse. The recovery for this injury typically takes about four to eight weeks.

The National League saves leader is not anxious about the coming reevaluation because he already knows the severity of the injury. It's just a matter of how his body responds.

"I'm going to be ready before the season's out," he said. "You can mark my word on that."

Grilli, 36, fractured his elbow in 2000 and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2002, but this injury, he said, is no different from a position player pulling a hamstring; it's muscular, not related to the tendon. He added that he didn't feel "like myself" in that game against Washington, but he immediately knew he hadn't damaged the ligament in the elbow.

Grilli wouldn't say whether he had been hurting prior to that but offered this:

"[There's] a lot of guys in this whole league that aren't playing 100 percent," he said. "We're not in the same condition right now. This is what you do as an athlete. You subject yourself to play when you're not 100 percent every day you're out there."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.