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05/27/08 8:00 PM ET

Smoltz's next outing may be put on hold

Bout with flu could hold righty back from rehab assignment

MILWAUKEE -- When John Smoltz is able to beat the flu bug that has bothered him the past couple of days, he'll be prepared to give a number of loyal Braves fans a chance to see him pitch in the neighborhood.

The Braves have tentatively scheduled Smoltz to continue his Minor League rehab assignment with Class A Rome on Thursday, when it hosts Asheville. If the 41-year-old right-hander continues to feel sick, he may not make this appearance until Friday or Saturday.

But with Rome being home throughout this weekend, it appears this small, northwest Georgia town, which is located about 90 miles north of Atlanta, will eventually get a chance to get a close look at Smoltz as he attempts to overcome his shoulder problems and prepares to return to his days as an Atlanta reliever.

Smoltz has told some of his teammates that he'd like to be activated from the disabled list by the time the Braves return to Atlanta to begin a series against the Marlins on Monday. He has been out since April 28, when he learned that his right shoulder discomfort was a product of an inflammation around his biceps tendon and rotator cuff.

When Smoltz tossed a scoreless inning for Double-A Mississippi during its loss to the Tennessee Smokies on Saturday, a record crowd of 7,381 packed Smokies Stadium, which is located approximately 20 minutes east of Knoxville, Tenn.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.