NEW YORK -- Daisuke Matsuzaka seems to have avoided the worst.
Matsuzaka's inflamed right elbow improved markedly from Sunday to Monday, generating hope that he can begin a throwing program by the end of this week. Though Matsuzaka will not return from the disabled list when eligible on Aug. 10, initial fears of a much longer DL stay appear unfounded.
"The inflammation's down a lot," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "The medication he took is working, so he's feeling pretty good."
The Mets' most versatile pitcher, Matsuzaka holds a 3.87 ERA in nine starts and 19 relief appearances. He has started, closed, set up and pitched in long relief.