Vicente Padilla to resume throwing in 3-4 weeks after surgery

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Vicente Padilla underwent forearm surgery yesterday and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers are “optimistic” enough about how things went that he could be cleared to resume throwing in just 3-4 weeks.

Add in some time to build back arm strength while showing he’s healthy and a late April or early May return seems possible, with Hernandez describing the surgery to release a nerve entrapped in his forearm as “a minimally invasive procedure.”

Padilla, who was slated for a season-opening spot in the bullpen while also serving as the team’s sixth starter, will likely slide into a middle relief role once he’s ready for game action. He hasn’t been a reliever since 2001, but signing Jon Garland and re-signing both Hiroki Kuroda and Ted Lilly means the Dodgers’ rotation is already solidified barring more spring injuries.