Hart sidelined with stiffness in right forearm

Hart sidelined with stiffness in right forearm

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners outfielder Corey Hart was held out of the lineup for a third straight day on Sunday, and manager Lloyd McClendon revealed the oft-injured Hart is dealing with stiffness in his right forearm.

It is not a serious issue, McClendon said, but Hart already dealt with a sore back this spring after he missed all of last season with double knee surgeries.

"He's taking a dose [of medication] to alleviate some inflammation and will be back out there Tuesday," McClendon said.

The manager said he wasn't worried about Hart's regular-season availability with Opening Day a week away. Hart has played in just 12 games this spring and has five hits in 35 at-bats.

"His at-bats are fine," McClendon said. "Once he comes back, he'll probably get another 30 in Minor League games."

When he does come back, Hart likely will be limited to designated hitter -- instead of the 145 games in the outfield McClendon said earlier this spring he hoped to get from Hart.

"I'm not so sure how much right field he's going to play, starting off," McClendon said. "The goal is to keep him physically sound. DH is a better option, and probably what we'll lean toward."

Hart had microfracture surgery on his right knee in January 2013 and on his left knee last July. He signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Mariners during the offseason.

Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.