SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles lefty Brian Matusz received an MRI on Thursday for lower back tightness, and manager Buck Showalter said the pitcher's return "is not imminent."
"I wouldn't go that far," Showalter said, when asked if this would be considered a disabled-list situation in the regular season. "It's something that we've got to get our arms around. I don't think we're there yet. Next couple days, see how he responds. But he's not going to be back in there on his normal turn. It's kind of strange. I'm really anxious to hear the dynamic of how it all came about."
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Before the Orioles' 10-3 loss to the Rays on Thursday, Showalter said this was the first he'd heard of the back injury for Matusz, who requested to get some testing to figure out what was going on after Wednesday's outing.
In his Grapefruit League debut against the Braves, Matusz allowed a fifth-inning homer to Mallex Smith and a Jeff Francoeur double. The lefty is projected to be part of the O's Opening Day bullpen.
"He just felt it during the game," Showalter said. "It was pretty sore, kind of in the lower back, on the side, the way I understand it. He initially requested the MRI, and they thought it would be a good idea. We just want to know what we're dealing with here. He said it's just been kind of sore. Yesterday was a little bit more than that."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.