Braves reliever Eric O’Flaherty has fully recovered from lingering effects of mononucleosis and started his offseason throwing program on Monday.
O’Flaherty missed much of the 2010 season with the virus, which kept him out for six weeks starting in July, and then again late in the season when he suffered from vision problems and lightheadedness. He pitched in only 15 games after the All-Star break.
Doctors believed his symptoms were after-effects of mononucleosis, and he was told the same thing by a doctor in his hometown of Seattle.
“He just said my body needed rest,” said O’Flaherty, who spends his offseasons in Bellevue, WA. “When I got home after the season, I rested for two weeks. I barely even left the house. I started to feel better in a week or two and now I feel great.”
He’ll play catch three to four times a week, building up to be ready for pitching coach Roger McDowell’s voluntary camp at Turner Field in late January.
O’Flaherty will return to his role as left-handed specialist/setup man in the Braves bullpen, where general manager Frank Wren has added two veteran arms in recent weeks in left-hander George Sherrill and right-hander Scott Linebrink.
“I love everything he’s done,” O’Flaherty said. “(Sherrill) is a great dude. I played with him in Seattle for a couple years. I think everybody will like him. I heard (Linebrink) is a good guy. We’ve picked up two really great personalities and great arms. I don’t think our bullpen could be better.”
- By Carroll Rogers, Braves blog