07/01/09 1:38 PM ET
Uehara to miss three to five weeks
O's pitcher now dealing with partial tear in right elbow
By Brian Eller / MLB.com
Only weeks after coming off the disabled list from a nagging left hamstring injury, the right-hander will miss three to five weeks with a partial tear in his right elbow.
"Koji's going to be out for a while," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "He needs to rest. He's got a partial tear in his right elbow, so he'll have to rest it for three to five weeks."
Trembley said surgery isn't required for Uehara's injury, which specifically is a partial tear in his flexor tendon. The skipper also said after the three-to-five-week time period, Uehara would likely enter a throwing program, meaning it would be at least seven to eight weeks -- if everything goes according to schedule -- before the righty could be on the mound for Baltimore.
The injury to his elbow is the second ailment that has affected Uehara this season. The first-year pitcher was placed on the DL back in May with a hamstring injury that has plagued him for the better part of his career.
Uehara returned from the DL to make three starts in June before the issue with the torn tendon surfaced. Uehara went 0-1 in three June starts, pitching five, five and six innings in each start, respectively. Uehara is 2-4 with a 4.05 ERA in 12 starts this season.
As far as his contributions to the O's, Trembley said Uehara "feels dejected" and doesn't really want to think about how his injury has affected the team.
"To tell you the truth," Uehara said through translator Ji Won Bang, "I don't want to think about it. At this moment, I can't really think too much about that, because I'd rather not think about it."
Trembley also said upon Uehara's arrival back to playing shape, it is undecided whether he will remain in the starting rotation or move to the Orioles' bullpen. Though Uehara said he "hasn't thought about that at all," Trembley admitted it's a possibility.
"I think we'll have to consider that, but we'll have to see where he's at health-wise," Trembley said, "because what will happen is he'll have to go through a throwing program, and that program will build him up so that he'll be able to throw a lot of pitches. But we'll see where we're at.
"For me, until somebody tells me he's not a starting pitcher, he's a starting pitcher."
Brian Eller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.