Lewis out 2 months with strained lat muscle

Lewis out 2 months with strained lat muscle

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis is expected to miss up to two months with a strained lat muscle in the back of his right shoulder.

The injury showed up during an MRI on Wednesday. The Rangers originally thought Lewis was dealing with soreness in the right triceps area, but the examination showed it was a problem with the lat muscle.

"Yeah it's disappointing," Lewis said after the Rangers' 6-4 win over the Reds. "At least I don't get cut on. Get it right, get back and do what I was doing before. I felt like I was on a really good roll helping the ballclub win. It really stinks. Luckily it's not season-ending."

Lewis will not throw for four weeks. At that point, he will have another MRI exam, which will tell if he is ready to begin a throwing program. However, it would still take him several weeks to rebuild his arm strength and endurance.

"These are kid of nagging, soft-tissue injuries," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "If you come back too soon, it can happen again. You'll have 100 percent recovery, but you have to give it time."

Lewis felt the injury in his last start against the Reds on Tuesday and had to come out of the game after five innings. He was 6-1 with a 3.21 ERA in 15 starts.

"From a big-picture standpoint, we'll give an opportunity to the next guy," Daniels said. "We have confidence somebody will step up and Colby will be back. On a personal level, it's a kick in the gut. Nobody is more respected and admired on our team than Colby. He was having a great season. ... All-Star caliber."

The two leading candidates to replace him are Triple-A right-handers Kyle Lohse and Chi Chi Gonzalez. Lohse is 2-4 with a 5.09 ERA in seven starts and Gonzalez is 3-6 with a 5.04 ERA in 14 starts.

"We're still working through that," Daniels said.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.