VERO BEACH, Fla. -- If there were any lingering doubts regarding his health, Hong-Chih Kuo erased the last of them on Tuesday afternoon.

Pitching for the second time since skipping a scheduled start last Wednesday, Kuo struck out two of the three batters he faced in one perfect inning. More importantly, he said he wasn't concerned about his surgically repaired left elbow, which forced him to miss the final three months of last season.

"I feel better," Kuo said. "It's been a while."

Kuo skipped last Wednesday's start as a precautionary measure after feeling discomfort in his pitching elbow. He had surgery last July to remove bone chips from that same elbow, in what became his fourth career elbow operation.

Though Kuo made his first Grapefruit League appearance on March 1, he didn't pitch again until last Saturday -- and said he felt even more comfortable after Tuesday's outing. Dodgers manager Joe Torre stuck around to watch Kuo pitch, before leaving for this weekend's exhibition series against the Padres in China.

Kuo is among the most prominent Dodgers taking part in the trip.

"I've never been there," Kuo said. "It should be fun."