Hampton will fly to New York to meet with doctor

ATLANTA -- Mike Hampton's struggle to return to the Atlanta Braves' rotation had another setback on Sunday when he felt pain in his left elbow and had to stop throwing in the bullpen.

Hampton plans to fly to New York on Monday to see Dr. David
Altchek, the Mets' medical director. Altchek performed ligament replacement surgery on Hampton's elbow Sept. 26, 2005.

Hampton strained a muscle in his left side last month, and the pain kept him from pitching in a game during spring training. But the recurrence of soreness in the elbow could be a greater concern.

After ending the bullpen session, Hampton met with team doctors
before Sunday's game against the New York Mets.

The Braves hope Altchek can determine the severity of Hampton's

"We shut down due to discomfort in his elbow," Braves pitching
coach Roger McDowell said.

When asked if Hampton was frustrated, McDowell said "Probably
so. I think anybody would be."

Hampton, 34, was expected to join John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and
Chuck James as the leaders of the Braves' rotation. After Hampton strained his muscle during batting practice in spring training, the team signed another left-hander, Mark Redman, who struggled in Friday's loss to the New York Mets.

Hampton went 5-3 in 12 starts for the Braves in 2005, struggling
much of the season with a sore elbow that finally required major surgery. He is starting the seventh season of a $121 million, eight-year contract he signed with Colorado after the 2000 season.