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<  Shannon Drayer

Paxton and Walker optimistic they will be cleared to throw this week

By Shannon Drayer

It was good to see a familiar face in the Mariners' clubhouse Monday afternoon. Taijuan Walker was at his locker (yes, he has one now as this is where he is doing his rehab work) and he gave me the rundown on what happened last week when he was scratched from his start in Tacoma and shut down once again. Walker is optimistic he will be throwing again soon. Feeling discomfort for the first time since building back up was something he took in stride.

"I probably could have pitched through it but that's not smart," he said. "I really didn't want to push anything, something could have happened so I thought it was best to get it checked again. It's nothing, just the same thing."

Walker was shut down for a week in spring training with shoulder bursitis. There may have been other contributing factors to this shoulder discomfort, however. The discomfort came three days after flying from Jackson, Tenn. to Tacoma. Walker thinks the flight plus a missed throwing session and sleeping on it wrong may have been one of the reasons why things didn't feel right before his scratched start. He has felt better the last few days and hopes he gets good news from the doctor on Wednesday.

"I see Dr K. (team doctor Dr. Edward Khalfayan) Wednesday, hopefully by Thursday, Friday, I start playing catch again," he said. "I didn't want any setbacks but I am glad it is not a long setback."

Dr. Khalfayan will be busy on Wednesday is he is also scheduled to see James Paxton. Paxton has been receiving treatment and doing the necessary work to be ready to throw when he is given the green light. He told me all has gone well so far and that he hasn't felt the lat in at least a week. He is hopeful he will be cleared to throw after seeing the doctor.

Before Monday's game, manager Lloyd McClendon said that they were sticking to the original six-to-eight-week timetable they were told when he was injured. If he is cleared to begin throwing this week I think there is a good chance we could see him sooner. We should know more on Wednesday.

One last pitching update: Hisashi Iwakuma is scheduled to make his first rehab start Tuesday for the Rainiers if weather allows.

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