Pavano returns to Twins after shoulder work

Pavano returns to Twins after shoulder work

MILWAUKEE -- Right-hander Carl Pavano returned to the Twins on Friday after spending time back in Minneapolis to work on strengthening his right shoulder.

Pavano, who is battling a strain in the front of his throwing shoulder, had deep tissue work done and said he's feeling better. Pavano is slated to start against the Brewers on Saturday.

"I was just working with a guy in Minneapolis that does some tissue work," Pavano said. "He works with the Vikings and with some of us, too. It was just a way to get some consistent work while we try to push forward with this. There's no huge revelation. It'll just take time, so I have to stay on top of it."

Pavano has suffered from a loss of velocity this season, but did see an improvement in that area in his last start on Monday, when he allowed four runs over six innings against the Indians.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's pleased with the progress that Pavano is making, and said he remains hopeful Pavano won't need a cortisone shot, as they initially thought.

"He's doing fine," Gardenhire said. "He says he feels great. He feels good enough going to this therapist who does soft-tissue [work]. He's talked about not even dealing with a cortisone shot. He's got back some of that extension in his arm so he can reach back a little bit."

Pavano said he had MRI exam results sent to Dr. David Altchek in New York for a second opinion. But that Altchek agreed with Twins team doctor John Steubs' assessment that Pavano can pitch through the injury. Altchek also told Pavano that he doesn't need a cortisone shot if his shoulder continues to make progress.

"He said, 'If you're at the point where it's getting better, even at a slow pace -- and we all like things to happen quicker than we do -- keep going forward with that,'" Pavano said. "Maybe down the line I'll take it or maybe I won't. So we'll give it time and as long as it's not getting worse and makes improvements."