JUPITER, Fla. -- Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn received good news after an MRI performed on Monday confirmed that he had not suffered anything more serious than a left hip flexor strain in his start on Sunday.
The injury will slow Lynn for at least a few days, but it is not expected to jeopardize his chances at being ready for the start of the regular season. Lynn required follow-up tests on his hip after exiting his last start with tightness in the area. He threw 24 pitches in a start against the Marlins before ending his day early.
Lynn was confident that the injury wasn't any worse than initially thought, but he was nevertheless encouraged that the MRI confirmed so.
"Everybody was happy with what they saw," Lynn said. "I'm sure that [Tuesday] we'll see how it goes when I get here and maybe [I'll] get a chance to play catch tomorrow when I get here. I'm going to do what they tell me to do just so I'm where I need to be for moving further and ready to start the season."
Lynn did not participate in workouts on Monday, and manager Mike Matheny suggested it will be a few days before Lynn is free to return to a regular routine. As they have been with Adam Wainwright (abdominal strain), the Cardinals will take a conservative approach with Lynn, another key member of their rotation.
"We're going to go easy," Matheny said. "He's still got a ways to go before he can push and even see what actions are bothering him. Right now we'll take a chance to step down a little bit."
Because the Cardinals have not reduced their spring rotation to five just yet, it was unclear when Lynn would make his next start. He'll have to throw at least once on the side before the Cardinals would consider sending him back to the mound for a Grapefruit League appearance.
After leaving his start with the bases loaded and no outs on Sunday, Lynn said he was having trouble getting his hip to loosen after taking a break in between his first and second innings. He felt the tightness particularly when he landed and rotated. That affected Lynn's command to the third-base side of the plate, and the Cardinals chose not to risk it getting worse by keeping Lynn in longer.