MLB

Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. had flexor tendon setback during lockout

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Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. continues to be sidelined by a flexor tendon problem that he said was exacerbated during the lockout, when he couldn’t be in touch with team trainers.

« I was experiencing just a not fully 100% type of feeling, » McCullers told reporters at the team’s spring training site in West Palm Beach, Florida. « I had to go back and see the doctors, do MRIs and things like that. The tendon just isn’t where we thought it was going to be. It’s not healed yet.

« It was a tendon issue that we felt was going to resolve by now and I was going to be ready to roll. »

McCullers, who set career highs in wins (13), ERA (3.16), strikeouts (185) and innings pitched (162 1/3) last season, said the setback happened while throwing from 120 feet in late January or early February. He is not currently throwing and expects any rehab to take at least a few weeks. He told reporters that he has had a platelet rich plasma injection and stem cell treatments over the past two weeks.

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The season begins April 7.

The pitcher, who did not pitch in the World Series or ALCS after leaving in Game 4 of the ALDS with forearm tightness, said doctors are « all pretty confident this will resolve itself » and surgery is not necessary « right now. »

« We’re not going to cross that bridge unless we absolutely have to, » McCullers said.

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