JUPITER, Fla. -- Lance Lynn's first spring start ended prematurely when the righty was forced out of Sunday's game vs. the Marlins after suffering a left hip flexor strain.
The Cardinals will re-evaluate Lynn on Monday, at which time the team will issue an update on his status. But Lynn didn't appear to be anticipating any bad news, saying after his early exit that he expects to make his next spring start as scheduled and be uninhibited as he prepares for the season.
"Pretty sure in two days I'll be able to throw my bullpen and be ready to throw my start after that," Lynn said. "There's nothing. It's just tightness. I just need to make sure the tightness isn't there tomorrow. If we can get through that, I'll be able to get through my normal plan."
Because this is Spring Training, the Cardinals will likely alter Lynn's schedule, even if just slightly. Being overly cautious at this time of the year is the norm and is why manager Mike Matheny intended to remove Lynn from the game before he ever consulted with the right-hander.
Lynn, projected to be the Cardinals' No. 2 starter this season, breezed through his first inning of work on nine pitches. He said he felt some tightness in his hip during that frame, but the discomfort increased after he sat for a break between innings. Lynn never could loosen up.
He walked the first two batters before an error by Jhonny Peralta allowed the Marlins to load the bases. Lynn threw one more pitch -- his 24th of the afternoon -- and looked uncomfortable doing so. Catcher Yadier Molina noticed and went to the mound. Matheny followed.
"He looks strong so far this spring, so hopefully this will just be a little slowdown and he'll get right back into that," Matheny said. "At this time of year, if we have to go out there, then there is no sense in [keeping him in]."
Of the 15 pitches Lynn threw in the second, only six were strikes.
The Cardinals had mapped out a spring schedule which was to have Lynn make five starts before the regular season, though he wasn't scheduled to pitch every fifth day just yet anyway.
Lynn is also the most likely Opening Day replacement for starter Adam Wainwright (abdominal strain) if the Cardinal ace isn't ready to start against the Cubs on April 5. Had this issue popped up during a regular-season game, Lynn said: "I would have figured it out."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.