MRI reveals inflammation in Milone's neck

MRI reveals inflammation in Milone's neck

MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-hander Tommy Milone was diagnosed with inflammation in his neck after undergoing an MRI on Monday, general manager Terry Ryan said.

Milone was scheduled to start against the Tigers on Monday but was scratched after he couldn't complete a bullpen session on Saturday because of stiffness in his neck. But the MRI showed only inflammation, no structural damage, so the Twins are hopeful he'll be able to pitch again this season.

Right-hander Anthony Swarzak made a spot start in Milone's place on Monday.

"[Milone] has a stiff neck and inflammation, so we're going to treat that and try to get him healthy and see where it goes," Ryan said. "There's a possibility [he'll pitch again this season]."

Milone, 27, who was acquired from the A's on July 31 in the trade that sent Sam Fuld to Oakland, last pitched on Sept. 2. He skipped a start after dealing with shoulder fatigue, but now will be pushed back even further by the neck injury.

He has a 4.23 ERA in 21 starts this season but a 7.40 ERA in five outings since joining the Twins.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.