Hammel reports improvement in knee

Hammel reports improvement in knee

BALTIMORE -- Orioles starter Jason Hammel said he's seen a significant decrease in the swelling and fluid in his sore right knee, adding that he hopes to throw off the mound on Saturday with the goal of pitching Monday or Tuesday.

Although he and manager Buck Showalter both noted that those plans are tentative, Hammel said he was optimistic about his chances of pitching early next week.

"I feel pretty good about it," Hammel said. "Unfortunately, it's not always up to me."

Hammel was scratched from his Thursday start to rest the knee with the goal of treating the problem now so that it doesn't linger throughout the season.

He said the knee first started to become an issue after his April 25 start against Toronto and progressively worsened with each of his next two outings.

Hammel, who is 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA this season, said that just walking around causes him pain at certain points.

"Stairs, they aren't fun," Hammel said. "But it's getting a lot better. There's really no sharp pain or anything. It's just very, very restricted movement. So that's improvement."