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Sprained elbow ligament sidelines reliever Buchholz

Citizen Staff Writer



Reliever Taylor Buchholz is the latest to catch the injury bug for the Colorado Rockies.

The right-handed set-up man will miss 4 to 6 weeks after suffering a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow.

Buchholz experienced pain after his first start of the spring on Feb. 26 against the Chicago White Sox. An MRI later revealed he had a partial sprain that will require rehab before he can begin throwing again.

“I felt it was just normal kind of pains that I have had before,” Buchholz said. “Usually it goes away when I get into the game. This time it was a little different.

“I threw a couple more curveballs and it kept gradually getting worse and worse. Every curveball I threw I felt it.”

Buchholz, who posted a 2.17 ERA last year, will not require surgery.

Buchholz was a big part of the Rockies’ bullpen last season, going 6-6 with one save while making his transition from a starter to a reliever. He is 12-11 with a 3.38 ERA in his two years with Colorado.

His ERA last year was the fourth-lowest ever in a single season by a Rockies reliever. He led Colorado with 21 holds, which ranked ninth in the National League.

Buchholz, who has never experienced elbow injuries before, will undergo ice and heat, along with massage, treatments, before starting strengthening exercises.

“We caught it early, which is a good thing,” he said. “If I kept going out there and pushing it, then I might have torn it a little bit more. We caught it at the right time.”

Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins was scratched from Thursday’s 7-3 loss to Team Mexico with a mild hip flexor. He is listed as day to day.

He will join a long injury list, with first baseman Todd Helton (back), utility players Jeff Baker (elbow) and Ian Stewart (bicep) and outfielder Brad Hawpe (finger) already out.

Starting pitcher Jeff Francis will miss the season after shoulder surgery.

Thursday: Team Mexico 7, Rockies 3

Friday: Rockies vs. San Diego Padres, 1:05 p.m., Peoria

Hitting recap: Matt Murton went 2 for 2 with a run, RBI and stolen base in Colorado’s loss.

Pitching recap: Jorge De La Rosa allowed six runs on 11 hits in 2 1/2 innings, taking the loss.

Sprained elbow ligament sidelines reliever Buchholz

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