"It didn't burst, but it was going to," Elbert said. "It was hurting for a couple days and I didn't know what it was, I thought it was the flu virus."
Last June, Elbert had Tommy John surgery, his third elbow operation in a 10-month span. He wasn't expected back until around the All-Star break this season, but this is a slight setback in his rehabilitation.
Elbert threw off flat ground for the first time on Jan. 24, but hasn't thrown since because of the surgery. He estimated this probably pushes back his rehab timetable about a week. He has been throwing with what he estimates as "60, 70 to 80 percent intensity," and hopes to resume throwing Tuesday or Wednesday this week.
The Dodgers placed Elbert on the 60-day disabled list on Saturday to make room for Paul Maholm, who was signed to a one-year contract. Elbert avoided arbitration with the Dodgers in November with a non-guaranteed $575,000 contract for 2014, but his getting placed on the DL guarantees the deal.
"I've had enough surgeries now where if it's going to hurt it's going to hurt. I just think this is the ending, the last thing you have to fix. It's a new arm, I've had my shoulder done [in 2007], I've had my elbow done, what else can go wrong besides having my appendix removed?" Elbert said, laughing. "It always tests you mentally to see what you can go through. If I can go through this, baseball wise I can go through just about anything."
Elbert, 28, last pitched for the Dodgers on Aug. 26, 2012. He was limited eight minor league rehab appearances in 2012 before being shutdown for the Tommy John surgery. In parts of five major league seasons the left-hander has a 3.61 ERA in 120 games, with 92 strikeouts and 41 walks in 92⅓ innings.