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D-backs’ Adam Eaton stays positive despite setback

Days away from a possible return to the big league club, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton has once again been shut down.

On a rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno, Eaton said he made a throw home and “kind of didn’t feel right. (The elbow) didn’t recover as well. It didn’t feel as well as it should have.”

He’s been on the disabled list since the start of the season.

“(Dr. Michael Lee) said there’s a little fluid in there,” Eaton said Friday after an MRI earlier this week on his left elbow. “The UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) isn’t any worse. They said it looked good. There’s just a little bit of fluid in there which would cause some irritation.

“As of right now, we’re going to take off about three weeks and then re-evaluate from there.”

The Diamondbacks are confident there is no structural damage, thus avoiding any surgery; but just to make sure, Eaton said he and the team are seeking a second opinion. Dr. James Andrews plans to look at the films next Tuesday.

Eaton, who was tearing up the Cactus League with a .390 average with a home run and 10 RBI at the time of the injury, does not believe this is a serious setback.

“It’s a three-week period where I can continue to get stronger in my arm and learn from this,” he said. “As tough as it is, as young as I am, I have never felt or tasted any kind of adversity like this before, so it’s definitely going to be a learning process for me to kind of take a step back and learn day-to-day how I can be patient and get healthy.”

After hitting .259 with two home runs and five RBI last season, Eaton was penciled in as the Diamondbacks’ 2013 starting center fielder and leadoff hitter.

“Everything was going well,” he said of his rehab. “I felt strong and with one throw, I guess, something can happen with that. I think that’s why (the fluid) all of a sudden appeared.

“I’ve always said it doesn’t really feel like I’m hurt,” Eaton continued. “My arm feels great. My legs feel great. Everything feels good, but as soon as I pick up a baseball and I try to throw it at any distance, it makes me cringe a little bit.”