DETROIT -- The Tigers bullpen is one step closer to normal with Phil Coke's return. The lone injured reliever remaining, Octavio Dotel, is another matter.
A second opinion on Dotel's injured right elbow Friday from renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews brought the same news as the original diagnosis. He has no structural damage in his elbow, and nothing requiring surgery.
However, he still has some issues in his elbow, and thus can't throw a ball. He asked for the second opinion following a mound session earlier this week in Lakeland, Fla., while the Tigers were on the road.
"He stretched out throwing long when he was throwing his bullpen the other day," Tigers athletic trainer Kevin Rand said, "and he just didn't quite have it yet. He just wanted to have a second look to make sure there was nothing we'd have been missing. … He threw fine. He didn't have any pain or anything. He just wasn't happy with the results at that point."
Dotel is on a medicine program that will keep him sidelined for six days before he can try throwing again next week.
Dotel, who turns 40 years old this fall, has been sidelined for three weeks and appears at least a couple weeks away from a return, given the process of stretching out his arm and giving him time against live hitters again.