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Injuries mount for Marlins' staff

Injuries mount for Marlins' staff

JUPITER, Fla. -- Some of the Marlins' most promising young pitchers have injury concerns.

On Wednesday night, the Marlins confirmed that reliever Taylor Tankersley has left shoulder inflammation and is on no-throw status for five to seven days. There is a chance the 23-year-old lefty will not be ready for Opening Day.

While the Marlins face the prospect of being without their primary lefty reliever, there is growing concern that starter Josh Johnson could be out an extended period of time.

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Multiple league sources told MLB.com Wednesday night that Johnson has a nerve problem in his throwing elbow. Already expected to be on the disabled list by Opening Day, those sources added that Johnson could miss a significant portion of the season.

The Marlins' first-round pick in 2004, Tankersley was in contention for the closer role, although more likely he was being considered as an eighth-inning specialist.

Tankersley was 2-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 49 games a year ago. He had three saves and threw 41 total innings.

According to the Miami Herald, Tankersley had an MRI on Monday, and the shoulder was reexamined Wednesday. He has no structural damage.

Johnson, meanwhile, has been plagued by arm troubles since last Sept. 12, when he was lifted after five shutout innings against the Mets at Dolphin Stadium. In that game, the 6-foot-7 right-hander sat through an 82-minute rain delay before returning to the mound.

Finishing with a 12-7 record and a 3.10 ERA, Johnson felt forearm tightness that day. Then on Jan. 19, he felt discomfort in his biceps/triceps area during a throwing session on flat ground. He had an MRI on Jan. 31, which revealed no structural damage.

The discomfort in Johnson's arm lately has been above the elbow.

Additionally, Anibal Sanchez, who will make his first Grapefruit League start on Saturday, has been bothered by shin splints in both legs. Sanchez had an MRI on his shoulder in January, but he said his arm feels fine. It's his legs that are acting up.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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