Braves pitcher Luiz Gohara warms up before a workout last week. He strained his groin while running in one of the first Braves spring drills. (Curtis Compton/
Photo: Compton
Photo: Compton

Gohara (groin strain) passes bullpen test

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves pitcher Luiz Gohara had no problems Monday when he tested his recently strained groin by throwing a side session in the bullpen.

It’s uncertain when the big left-hander will make his spring-training debut but manager Brian Snitker said Gohara would “begin the progression” toward that after the positive result Monday.

The rookie came to camp as a leading contender for one of two openings in the starting rotation. Gohara strained his groin while running in one of the first workouts last week.

The Braves have played four games and used only one of their certain opening-day rotation starters so far -- veteran Julio Teheran, who pitched Monday. Mike Foltynewicz is set to start Tuesday against the Pirates and veteran Brandon McCarthy will face the Mets on Wednesday.

Lefty Sean Newcomb started Saturday’s game against Houston and is a leading candidate along with rookies Gohara and lefty Max Fried for the final spots in the rotation. Fried pitched an inning of relief Sunday.

Because there are two scheduled days off in the first eight days of the regular-season schedule, the Braves wouldn’t need a fifth starter until April 11 at Washington in the 12th game. Four starters could work on regular rest through the first 11 games.