BALTIMORE -- Relief pitchers Ryan Madson and Sean Burnett were the big offseason additions that were expected to shore up the Angels' biggest deficiency of 2012. Ten weeks into the season, though, injuries continue to beset them.
Madson has dealt with numerous setbacks in his return from Tommy John surgery and is still only throwing off flat ground. Burnett, who has missed 35 games and counting while serving two separate stints on the disabled list, was back in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday, seeing noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews once again.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the planned visit with Andrews -- Burnett's second in five weeks -- was to "just make sure he's moving in the right direction." Asked of the chances Burnett could go under the knife again, Scioscia said: "I have no idea. I just know he's being evaluated."
Burnett, signed to a two-year, $8 million contract in December, missed 22 games while on the DL from April 28 to May 21 with what the team called left forearm irritation.
During that time, on May 4, he visited with Andrews, who removed two bone spurs from his elbow this offseason and performed his Tommy John surgery in 2004. Andrews confirmed the diagnosis, and Burnett was told there's no structural damage around his elbow and was given an anti-inflammatory.
A week after returning, he landed on the DL once again, this time with a left elbow impingement he said was unrelated to the previous ailment. Monday was the first day the 30-year-old lefty was eligible to be activated, but Burnett has done nothing more than throw off flat ground.
"Right now, nothing's definite as to what's going to happen with Sean," Scioscia said. "We'll just see where it goes."
Madson progressed all the way to a rehab outing for Class A Inland Empire on May 13, but hasn't been able to shake the elbow soreness he experienced that night. He's only throwing off flat ground, trying, as he put it, "to get the most out of it every day without going backwards."
If the soreness continues for another week or two, he'll have to get another test, or see another doctor -- he's seen about four -- or possibly even shut it down.
"I'm just frustrated," Madson said. "I really don't have any answers. I just really want to pitch, really bad. I'll do anything. Anything. But it seems like there really isn't much to do, other than let it heal."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.