ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Roy Oswalt said he is "100 percent better" and expects to return to the rotation on Sunday against the White Sox. He was skipped in his last start because of tightness in his lower back.
Oswalt was examined on Monday by Dr. Mike McCann, a Houston back specialist who has treated him for the past several years. Oswalt received an injection to relieve the inflammation in a joint in his lower back.
"Today it's 100 percent better," Oswalt said before the Rangers' game on Tuesday against the Red Sox. "Sometimes this creeps up on me. I used to try and be a hero and I would miss three or four starts. I felt it in my last bullpen [session]. It wasn't terrible, but I could feel it. This is more maintenance than anything."
Oswalt said he has been throwing a lot during his bullpen sessions between starts, trying to work on his mechanics. He said he may have overdone it and that caused the latest flareup. Oswalt is scheduled to throw a light bullpen session on Friday in preparation for Sunday's start.
The Rangers signed Oswalt at the end of May to add to their pitching depth. His importance is growing now that Colby Lewis is out for the season with a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow and Neftali Feliz is still sidelined with a sprained right elbow.
"Because of his experience, we certainly could use the innings we know he can give us," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "But every single guy we have in that rotation is important. We're not going to put any more importance on one guy over the others. I'm taking it one start at a time. We're going to give him the ball on Sunday if he has no setbacks and see how he recovers for his next start. That's as far as I'm thinking."
Oswalt has made five starts for the Rangers and is 3-1 with a 5.22 ERA.