Braves: Cole Hamels still has no timetable to return

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Cole Hamels is back at Braves camp after suffering a shoulder injury that initially was scheduled to sideline him at least the first three weeks of the season. But the 36-year-old lefty was re-evaluated today, and it looks like it is going to be much longer than that. The hope was that around this time, he would begin throwing again, but after his evaluation, there is still no timetable for that to happen, which means it will likely be at least May before we see him on the mound in Atlanta.

This isn’t the most shocking news. The Braves were always going to be uber cautious with their $18 million investment, and they have plenty of options to turn to while Hamels is out. The hope is for Newcomb to take one of the final two rotation spots, and Kyle Wright and Felix Hernandez have both been lights out early in spring training. Bryse Wilson and Touki Toussaint will also get looks if need be.

A shoulder injury to a 14-year-veteran is nothing to be rushed, and while it’s no time to panic yet, it’s a bit disheartening. Hopefully, this time off is more of a precautionary measure rather than a sign that this could be something more severe than it is being made out be.

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