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Mathis joins Marlins after season-opening DL stint

Mathis joins Marlins after season-opening DL stint

MIAMI -- There was a two-week span in the spring when Jeff Mathis couldn't get off his recliner.

On Feb. 23, a foul ball off Matt Holliday's bat in the third inning of the first Spring Training game broke Mathis' right collarbone.

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Mathis, who has broken his wrist and face before, said this injury was more painful.

"I guess I underestimated the lack of mobility I've had for so long," Mathis said. "When I took the sling off, it was amazing how much atrophy took place in my shoulder, and that's been the biggest grind is just getting the strength back."

The 30-year-old was reinstated from the disabled list prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Reds after rehab-assignment games for both Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans.

Acquired in the big offseason trade with Toronto, Mathis was expected to be Miami's primary backup catcher. The Marlins will carry three backstops for now: Mathis, Rob Brantly and Miguel Olivo.

"It's nice to be back on the field," said Mathis, who doesn't plan on wearing additional padding. "I've been playing down there [in the Minors] for about 10 days, and it's nice to be between the lines and back playing ball and participating again."

Christina De Nicola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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