FORT MYERS -- Twins closer Joe Nathan left Saturday's game against the Red Sox for precautionary reasons after experiencing tightness and soreness in his surgically repaired right elbow.

Nathan, 35, will be re-evaluated on Sunday, though he said there were no plans for an MRI exam.

"Until we get that evaluation, I don't want to come to any assumptions that I'm going to be fine or not," Nathan said. "But like I said, some tightness and achiness that they didn't want to take a chance right now."

Nathan entered the game in the third inning and struck out Mike Cameron before issuing two walks. He threw 20 pitches, 10 for strikes, and after his last pitch -- a fastball for Ball 4 to J.D. Drew -- Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson and assistant trainer Dave Pruemer went to the mound.

Nathan had surgery after last season to remove bone spurs and loose bodies from the elbow. He seemed to be throwing hard.

"My bullpen session went great," he said. "I got out there for my first game situation, probably got after it a little bit more with more sliders. It's hard to simulate that level of intensity until you actual get into a game."

Nathan seemed to be in good spirits, as he spoke to reporters with an ice pack wrapped around his elbow.

"They said with this type of operation, you're going to have days where it's not going to feel great," Nathan said. "There's going to be tightness, going to be achiness in there, and it may be scary, but you've gotta understand that it's something you're going to have to go through and it's a good thing. It means you're getting through some things and turning the corner."