Anibal sidelined with triceps inflammation

Tigers optimistic injury to right-hander is minor

Anibal sidelined with triceps inflammation

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Anibal Sanchez has inflammation in his right triceps that will sideline the Tigers pitcher from throwing until at least Monday, manager Brad Ausmus announced on Thursday.

Sanchez, who struggled through most of the 2015 season before being shut down in late August with a strained rotator cuff, said he felt his triceps flare up while picking up the intensity in his last mound session on Monday. He has been sidelined from throwing activity since then, and underwent an MRI exam.

The exam showed inflammation in the lower area of the triceps. Sanchez said it was close to the elbow, but relatively minor inflammation.

"I'm good," Sanchez said. "I just got an MRI that showed just inflammation, nothing like a big deal. I just need to slow down, and I think we're in the right time to do that."

The triceps injury is not believed to be related to last year's rotator cuff issue, according to Ausmus.

"Is it concerning? It doesn't seem to be anything concerning," said Ausmus, "but I guess you're always cringing when it involves one of your starting pitchers.

"... It's not really in an area where you see a ton of problems. The MRI looked good. It just showed a little inflammation there."

Outlook: Sanchez, SP, DET

If Sanchez feels fine, he'll try to resume his throwing program by playing catch on Monday. The Tigers have not announced scheduled starters for Spring Training games past Wednesday, but given the timetable, Ausmus said he wouldn't be shocked if Sanchez was held back from the first turn through the rotation as a precaution.

"I have enough time to get ready for the season," Sanchez said. "If something happens, you need to take care of it.

"... I think it's early. We don't have to rush anything, especially if I have soreness. I don't have to take the risk of it getting worse just because I want to be on time. We have enough time to get ready for the season."

Sanchez has missed time during the season with injuries in each of the past three years. The injuries were all different, and none required surgery, but each led to time on the disabled list, from a right shoulder strain that cost him a few weeks in 2013 to DL stints for a right middle finger laceration and a strained pectoral muscle in '14.

General manager Al Avila emphasized pitching depth to protect the club against injuries, holding onto prospects and signing free agents Jordan Zimmermann and Mike Pelfrey to fill rotation holes. Still, the Tigers are counting on Sanchez in the middle of the rotation.

A healthy Sanchez, Ausmus said, is "very important, extremely important. I think Sanchie's one of the most important parts of the team, really. We need him healthy, and we're hoping he returns to the guy he was a couple years ago."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.