Hammel threw 35 pitches in the Orioles' bullpen before Tuesday's game and tested out a new knee brace that he said was similar to a quarterback brace and was very helpful in keeping his knee stable.
"I was actually surprised," Hammel said after the session. "I though it would still be a little weak. The last few pitches I felt a little weakness and a little discomfort, but it's a step in the right direction."
There's still no timetable for a return, but Hammel said he remains optimistic he can return this season.
"I really don't know," he said. "I'd like to be. That's the game plan. It really depends on how it reacts tomorrow. Obviously, it feels great right now but it could come back and be really sore tomorrow."
Of the 35 pitches, Hammel said he just threw a few at 100 percent.
"I'm definitely not at 100 percent," he said. "I didn't want to set my expectations too high last night because I knew I was going to do it today. I was expecting to hit a wall at like 20, but I still felt strong at 35."
Hammel limped off the mound in the fourth inning of his Sept. 11 start against the
More injury updates
Outfielder Lew Ford, who normally would have started Tuesday against a left-hander, wasn’t in the lineup because he is dealing with a
“[Monday] it was as sore if not sorer, that’s why we were cautious with it,” Showalter said. “[Tuesday] there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of improvement. But he still could potentially do some things if we so desired.”
“Hopefully, it has the potential to be on the fast track, we’ll see,” Showalter said.