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Kazmir out ‘weeks, not months’

Posted Feb 27, 2008 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Feb 27, 2008 at 11:47 AM

Scott Kazmir has been diagnosed with a left elbow strain, Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said today.

“The good thing is we’re talking weeks, not months,” said Friedman. “It’s one of those things that we’re not going to put a timetable on – we’re looking at it in phases, and the first phase is to get the inflammation out of the elbow and to start him on a throwing program. We’re not sure when that’s going to be, but we’re trying not to set an artificial timeline because it is dependent on how Scotty feels.”

Friedman said it was unclear whether Kazmir would miss any regular-season starts, but even if he did it probably would only be “one or two.” He said the priority is treating the injury now and making sure it doesn’t recur later in the season.

“We’re going to do anything and everything while we have this time in March to ensure that it’s behind us,” said Friedman. 

Though a strain is by definition a minor tear, Friedman said the MRI exam showed no structural damage that would be cause for greater concern.

“The important thing is the nerves, the tendons, the ligaments – everything’s intact,” said Friedman. “From that, it’s really just how he feels. He’s got some inflammation today, so it’s working out the inflammation and putting him in a position where he has zero hesitation when he gets back out on the mound.”

There was no word on who will start Saturday’s Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays in Kazmir’s place, and Friedman said it was early enough that the Rays weren’t too concerned about lining up their pitchers.

“Because it’s so early, we can have guys just start to get their work in and start to get stretched out and then we’ll know a lot more when we really have to set the rotation in order,” he said.

The immediate outcome of Kazmir’s injury is that the five competitors for the two open rotation spots should get more innings. If the Rays did need an additional starter to open the season, Friedman said, “I would expect it to be a very, very short-term situation.”

In other injury news from yesterday’s intrasquad game, Reid Brignac suffered a fractured fifth toe on his right foot when he was hit by a pitch. He is expected to be out for 4-7 days, Friedman said. David Price also feels much better today after his shoulder stiffened up while warming up for the intrasquad game yesterday. He is expected to play catch and see Dr. Koco Eaton tomorrow.

Also, Friedman said Willy Aybar got into town last night and is undergoing a physical this morning. He is expected to play in the intrasquad game.

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