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Chris Davis forced to practice patience with elbow recovery

SARASOTA, FLA. — As Orioles first baseman Chris Davis’ recovery from inflammation in his right throwing elbow went stagnant, the cortisone injection he received Saturday might not be termed a setback, but it does prevent Davis from seeing the more definitive timetable for his return that he’d prefer with Opening Day looming in than three weeks.

Coming into this spring, the slugger spoke of the importance of getting as many plate appearances and swings as he could during the Grapefruit League schedule. Now, he hasn’t played in a game since March 2. The injection will prevent him from participating in any baseball activities for an additional three days.

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“Unfortunately, time waits for no man,” Davis said. “But you have to understand everything that’s going on around you. These guys have known me for long enough and been around me enough to know that I like to work. I like to be out there, move around, be physical, but in this situation it’s kind of better to take it slow. … I feel good. I feel a lot better.”

An MRI revealed no structural damage — a good sign for elbow and forearm injuries in throwing arms that sometimes are a pretense to Tommy John surgery — but Davis said his improvement hit a lull, he and the team decided on an injection.

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“Basically it was more of a plateau in the rehab,” Davis said. “I felt like I wasn’t really moving forward, I wasn’t really moving backwards. It was kind of the same thing for the last couple of days. So we basically took a conservative approach with the time that we have available. This is something we want to try to get ahead of before the regular season starts and we knew that going in.

“There was no need to rush. There was no point in trying to fight through it and go out there and play and go out and get at-bats and then just have to deal with this for the next six or seven months. I feel better today. They say usually 72 hours after you get the shot is when you kind of start moving around and doing some activity, but they want to let it sit for a couple of days to make sure the fluid gets in there and does its job.”

In an effort to provide the best and most complete baseball coverage possible, there's been an increase in the use of analytics and advanced metrics on these pages in recent years. Here's a rundown of some of the most frequently used ones to reference as the season goes on.

When Davis was first sidelined, manager Buck Showalter said Davis would likely miss only three to five days, but Sunday marked the 10th straight day that he has been sidelined from games, and by the time he is able to resume baseball activities from the injections, he will be nearing the two-week mark.

Davis’ absence is giving the Orioles a gauge of their first base depth as Trey Mancini, Mark Trumbo, Pedro Ålvarez and Danny Valencia have manned the position. Davis is just 2-for-13 with one homer, three RBIs, three walks and seven strikeouts.

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“I wanted to play tonight, but that was kind of out of the question,” Davis said. “That’s the reason why [head athletic trainer Brian] Ebel’s been so hands-on. He knows my nature. He knows that as soon as I feel somewhat good that I want to go out there and start getting after it, but ultimately, it’s not beneficial for me to go out there and try to grind through it, especially not during spring training.”

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