Strained muscle sidelines Mussina Stomach injury to keep ace off mound 'a week'

March 06, 1996|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Orioles ace Mike Mussina learned a new medical term this week, after straining his rectus abdominus -- a stomach muscle, in his left side.

The injury will prevent Mussina from making his scheduled start against the Boston Red Sox today and, although the club doesn't think the injury is serious, Mussina isn't exactly sure when he'll pitch again.

"I think it'll be more like a week before I try to get on the mound," he said. "I'm going to come back when it doesn't hurt anymore."

Mussina is sure he strained the muscle sometime last week, while playing catch with Rick Krivda. As he cocked his right arm to throw, he felt something pull in his left side.

Mussina pitched two innings despite the strain Saturday, in the Orioles' first exhibition game of spring, but felt pain throughout. Mussina can play catch without pain, but he experiences pain hurts when he throws off a mound. "It hurts when I'm throwing downhill," he said.

Ironically, Interestingly, Mussina's other injury of the spring -- a huge welt on his right shin, which occurred when he was hit by a line drive -- doesn't bother him at all. Mussina isn't even wearing a bandage for that.

How many spring training innings does Mussina think he needs to be ready for the regular season? "To feel really comfortable?" he said. "Fifteen. If I can get in 10, I'm not going to worry."

Mussina, 27, is scheduled to be the Orioles' starter on Opening Day, April 1, vs. Kansas City. Jimmy Haynes, the front-runner to be the No. 5 starter in the Orioles' rotation, is expected to replace Mussina today and start against the Red Sox.

Pub Date: 3/06/96

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