Atlanta Braves pitcher Jonny Venters is expected to miss the first four weeks of the MLB season, according to a tweet Tuesday afternoon from MLB.com Braves beat-writer Mark Bowman.
The silver lining is that the left-handed reliever won't need surgery, but his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, injected him with a "platelet-rich plasma" on Tuesday morning, according to Bowman. Andrews had performed Tommy John surgery on Venters' left elbow in 2006.
The Braves will look to their bullpen depth of Eric O'Flaherty and closer Craig Kimbrel to begin the season without Venters.
In his first thee seasons, Venters, 28, posted a 2.23 ERA with 258 strikeouts in 230 innings over. His durability has never been a question; over that span of three seasons, he made 230 appearances, second-most in baseball. In 2010, Venters had a 1.89 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP, 189 strikeouts and 171 innings pitched.