SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — After missing a start Tuesday with back stiffness, Diamondbacks pitcher Bronson Arroyo will miss 7-10 days recovering from a bulging disk, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said Wednesday.
Towers said an MRI on Tuesday morning revealed the bulging disk, which Arroyo suffered while running earlier this week. Arroyo, who has never been on the disabled list in his 14-year major league career, had an epidural injection Wednesday morning and will rest for at least a week before returning to baseball activities.
"They just want it to calm down before he starts throwing again," Towers said. "Of course Arroyo doesn’t think it will take that long. He may get another start in before we head to Australia. It’s nothing they’re concerned about. It’s not a herniated disk."
The injury is similar to the one Arroyo dealt with in 2011 while pitching for the Reds. Arroyo had an epidural injection then as well and didn’t miss any starts, but that came during the regular season.
Because the down time will set back Arroyo’s preparation for the season, it’s possible he might not be ready for Opening Day in the U.S. on March 31, though the D-backs haven’t discussed that possibility yet. Arroyo will not travel with the D-backs to Australia, but the D-backs had already planned to leave him back before the injury.
But given Arroyo’s injury history, the D-backs are optimistic he could be ready to go sometime during the team’s domestic season-opening series with the Giants, March 31-April 3.
"This guy had Valley fever and pneumonia last year and found a way to start the season with the Reds," Towers said. "We’ll just have to play it by ear just to see how he’s feeling. His style, it’s not like somebody who exerts a lot of effort in his delivery, so getting him to 100 pitches is probably less important than somebody that’s a little bit younger."
The D-backs signed Arroyo in February to a two-year contract worth a reported $23.5 million. The contract includes an $11 million club option for 2016 or a $4.5 million buyout.