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Updated: February 25th, 2012 11:28am
Zumaya exits throwing session early; MRI on elbow scheduled for Sunday

Zumaya exits throwing session early; MRI on elbow scheduled for Sunday

by Phil Mackey
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Minnesota Twins right-hander Joel Zumaya may have suffered another setback.

Facing live hitters for the first time this spring, Zumaya ended his 10-minute throwing session after 13 pitches with discomfort along the inside of his right elbow. The right-hander walked off the mound with head athletic trainer Rick McWane as concerned teammates looked on.

Zumaya is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Sunday morning.

"Yeah, I would be concerned," general manager Terry Ryan said. "Anytime a guy gets an MRI there's got to be concern. But I'm not going to overreact until the results come out. Let's hope it's not something serious. ...

"It'd be a little less concerning if we didn't have the history of what he's experienced in his career."

The Twins are hoping Zumaya simply broke scar tissue free from the surgery he underwent last season. The worst-case scenario, based on the area of the discomfort, could result in more significant surgery.

Zumaya, 27, hasn't pitched in a major league game since suffering a gruesome broken elbow at Target Field as a member of the Tigers in June of 2010. He is attempting to come back from two major surgeries to earn a 25-man roster spot this spring.    

In the live session -- with hitters tracking, but not swinging -- Zumaya threw five pitches each to Justin Morneau and Danny Valencia, then walked off after throwing a couple breaking balls to Drew Butera.

"He was throwing gas, man," Valencia said. "He looked good" until leaving.

The Twins signed Zumaya to a one-year $850,000 contract, of which $400,000 is guaranteed. Zumaya must break camp on the 25-man roster to earn the full salary.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd