Felix wearing walking boot, going stir crazy

Mariners ace will miss more starts than first hoped

Felix wearing walking boot, going stir crazy

SEATTLE -- Sitting at his locker in the corner of the Mariners clubhouse with a walking boot covering his strained right calf, Felix Hernandez acknowledged he's growing a little stir crazy a week into his first stint on the 15-day disabled list since 2008.

"I'm going crazy. I don't know what to do. I'm not used to this," Hernandez said, as teammates played on a mini-basketball hoop nearby, three hours before Tuesday night's game with the Indians.

The Mariners ace isn't sure how soon he'll be back, but he is due to see the Mariners team doctor again Thursday and hopes to get clearance then to start throwing again. He made some easy tosses while sitting down in the Safeco Field hitting cages Tuesday just to keep his arm active, but it is the sore calf that is worrisome.

Hernandez said he felt pain in his upper calf while stretching prior to the Mariners game on May 31 and seven days later the soreness still runs from just below the back of his knee down his lower leg. The doctors gave him the boot on Monday to protect him from further problems since he was walking differently, trying to protect the injury.

"He told me to wait a few more days, see if it starts feeling better and then hopefully I can start playing catch," Hernandez said.

So how does his leg feel?

"It's all right," Hernandez said, though his tone indicated less certainty.

The initial hope was Hernandez wouldn't miss more than two or three starts and perhaps be able to return when he's first eligible to come off the DL on Sunday. But he's already missed two starts and it's becoming clear he may be out longer.

"He's still sore," manager Scott Servais said. "It's one of those injuries that takes a while to get rid of the soreness, then it can come pretty quick once he starts feeling a little better. But he's still feeling it."

Worth noting

• Shortstop Ketel Marte was scratched from Tuesday's lineup several hours before game time due to neck spasms. Marte just came off the DL on Monday after missing 15 days with a sprained left thumb and went 1-for-3 with a stolen base and a run scored. Shawn O'Malley replaced him at shortstop for Tuesday's game.

• Center fielder Leonys Martin will hit and run the bases in a simulated-game situation prior to Wednesday's game against the Indians at Safeco Field, then play for Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday at Cheney Stadium as he makes the final tests on his strained left hamstring. If all goes well, Martin will rejoin the Mariners as soon as Friday against the Rangers, which is the first day he's eligible to come off the DL.

• Servais said right-handed reliever Tony Zych, on the DL since May 2 with right rotator cuff tendinitis, had to back off his throwing program last week when the shoulder flared up again. He's scheduled to resume throwing this week and will eventually head to Arizona for some extended spring training before beginning his Minor League rehab.

Lefty reliever Charlie Furbush remains in a similar plan as he awaits his sore shoulder to feel good enough to allow him to report to Arizona. Furbush hasn't pitched since last July due to a partial rotator cuff tear.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.