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Willis may be pushed back

Willis is feeling better but the club may still delay his next start.

Willis said he woke up Wednesday morning feeling the same tightness, but the discomfort subsided after he received heat treatment.

"It felt a lot looser today," he said. "I'm not sure if they're going to give me some (extra) time yet. Regardless, I want to start three times before the (All-Star) break."

For now, the Marlins have Willis penciled in to start Sunday at home against Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins. But the more likely scenario has Byung-Hyun Kim starting Sunday and Willis starting Tuesday, taking advantage of Monday's off-day to give him six days of rest.

"We also could start him Wednesday,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "The good sign is that he came out today and played a little catch.''

Willis also clarified that the discomfort was on the inside of his upper left forearm but not on his elbow. The tightness is related to a collision with Cleveland's Grady Sizemore on June 14 when Willis was reaching to make a tag at first base.

The discomfort not being in the elbow could eliminate a Tommy John type of injury.  However, it doesn't eliminate a Josh Johnson type of problem.  Hopefully, it is just some pesky nerve that is being slow to heal, the way they sometimes do.

I do expect that Dontrelle's next start will be pushed back due to the organization wanting to be careful with him.  I could be wrong, but Saturday isn't that far away and he is still feeling tightness in his forearm.

We shall see.