Blanks, on the disabled list since May 20 (retroactive to May 18) with the injury, said he felt stiffness in the elbow Monday while playing for Triple-A Portland in Fresno.
That was the last game Blanks appeared in.
"After the first game with Portland, it kept getting stiffer and stiffer," said Blanks, who had his elbow reexamined on Friday afternoon.
"Every day when I woke up, it was stiff. It just didn't feel right. It wasn't playable ... I didn't have the throwing arm I should have."
Manager Bud Black said after Friday's game that an MRI taken in the afternoon showed that Blanks has inflammation "in and around the elbow." The plan for Blanks, Black said, is for him to remain in San Diego and get treatment on the elbow. He won't take batting practice, and the team is "going to really watch it the next week or two."
Blanks appeared in 10 games with Class A Lake Elsinore, hitting .270 in 37 at-bats with 12 strikeouts as a designated hitter before being sent to Portland, where he was tested his elbow playing in the field.
"It felt fine hitting and my throwing program felt pretty good," Blanks said. "It felt like I was getting back to where it should be. But every inning I tried to warm up, it became harder and harder."
From a transaction standpoint, the team will recall Blanks from his rehabilitation stint Friday. He will remain on the disabled list.
San Diego's Opening Day starter in left field, Blanks was hitting .157 in 33 games before the injury. He struggled with contact, striking out 46 times in 102 at-bats.
The team will hand out Kyle Blanks bobblehead dolls Saturday to the first 25,000 fans.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.