Erik Goeddel inching closer to return

LOS ANGELES -- New York Mets reliever Erik Goeddel, who landed on the disabled list June 12 with a nebulous elbow injury, is making progress toward a return.

Goeddel is throwing on flat ground at 120 feet without pain and should step on a mound in four or five days for the first time since being placed on the DL.

So much surgery has been performed on Goeddel's pitching elbow during his amateur and pro careers, an MRI initially did not show a clear picture of the current issue.

"I had full ligament reconstruction," Goeddel recently said, recounting his past elbow procedures. "I had my nerve moved twice. I got scoped back there. So there's a lot of scar tissue and stuff that's been moved around and whatnot. From an MRI, I mean, they didn't see my bone ripped in half or anything. But it's tough for them to see what's going on. Holes were drilled in my bones from the other surgery. They look at it and it just doesn't look like a normal elbow. Say I had no symptoms and felt 100 percent, they told me if I had an MRI then they'd probably say the same thing."