Nolin will get a second opinion on the elbow in the coming days before the Brewers decide what the 26-year-old's timetable is and how they'll structure any rehab.
"We're still in the process of figuring out what the treatment strategy will be," Counsell said. "But [two weeks], yeah, it's nowhere near that optimistic."
Nolin's DL stint will be retroactive to March 25. The lefty didn't surrender an earned run in four Cactus League appearances, but he hasn't pitched since March 14 once the elbow issue flared up.
There was concern the issue could be a ligament tear, so a muscle-related injury is not the worst-case scenario. Still, Nolin is out of options, delaying Milwaukee's decision on his future, while the bullpen is thin due to a rash of injuries.
The Brewers also put outfielder Rymer Liriano (face fracture) and reliever Zack Jones (shoulder) on the 15-day DL. That's in addition to relievers Yhonathan Barrios (knee) and Will Smith (shoulder), who are likely 60-day DL candidates with surgeries in their future.
Nolin's continued absence leaves veteran arm Chris Capuano as the lone lefty on Milwaukee's likely Opening Day relief staff.
Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.