MIAMI -- When Rich Hill first started feeling some soreness in his surgically repaired left elbow a few weeks ago, he couldn't help but worry.
When the pain and stiffness didn't subside despite treatment over the weekend and an MRI proved inconclusive, he had even more reason to fret.
But a visit with noted orthopedist James Andrews Monday revealed that Hill was only suffering a strained flexor tendon. He could be sidelined for more than a month, but after undergoing Tommy John surgery just over a year ago, it could have been a whole lot worse.
"After going through and having that surgery once and rehabbing,'' said Hill, "and coming back strong, having something else happen, obviously there's some anxiety there. Something could have wrong with the ligament; turns out there wasn't. That's really a good sign.''
Hill has been ordered to not throw at all for the next two weeks. He'll then be re-evaluated.
Andrews told Hill this latest setback is essentially unrelated to the surgery and could have happened to any pitcher.
"We've been treating it for a couple of weeks,'' said Hill. "We were treating and then it started to get worse.''
Although the news was far from worst-case for Hill, there's still an element of frustration for Hill, who had flourished out of the bullpen and was 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in 17 games.
"You miss the competition and going out there with your teammates,'' said Hill. "You're going to sit on the sidelines and watch. But if you continue to push an injury, you end up with what we had last year, which is not what you want to go through.
"Altogether, if you miss, say, at most six weeks, you come back and it's behind you and you move on, instead of missing another year.''