Herniated disc in neck ends Fielder's consecutive-game streak at 547
MAY 17, 2014 5:42p ET
ARLINGTON, Texas — In the "another day, another injury world" of the Texas Rangers, Saturday it was first baseman's Prince Fielder's turn to get hurt. Fielder will miss at least two games and had his 547 consecutive-game streak snapped when he skipped Saturday night's game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays.
Fielder was diagnosed with a herniated disk in his neck. He received a nerve root injection Saturday morning and the Rangers are hoping he'll be able to return to the lineup Tuesday when Texas hosts Seattle. Fielder hasn't missed a game since Sept. 14, 2010.
Fielder has been bothered by a stiff neck all season but tried to play through it, but it progressively got worse and he saw back specialist Dr. Drew Dossett on Friday. The club doesn't think it's a long-term issue but with the way things have gone for the injury-plagued club, nothing is certain.
"I can't make this stuff up boys," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said.
The 30-year-old Fielder, acquired by Texas in November from Detroit, has hit at least 25 home runs in each of his eight full major-league seasons. He had a high of 50 in 2007, but has struggled this season with only three homers and 16 RBI and a .247 batting average.
Daniels said the injury could be a reason for Fielder's lack of power.
"It stands to reason it has been affecting his swing," Daniels told The Associated Press. "He described it as a lack of strength in his left arm."
Fielder's injury comes the same week that starting pitchers Matt Harrison and Martin Perez were each lost for what could be season-ending injuries. The Rangers lead the majors with 13 players on the disabled list.
Daniels said Fielder's injury won't require surgery now, but it may explain why the slugger has gotten off to such a slow start. Fielde, a .285 career hitter, is batting just .247 with three home runs and 16 RBI in 42 games.
"He had been pushing through this for a while," said Daniels, who found out about the neck problem three or four weeks ago. "It sounds like it had been bothering last year as well. I don't know when he first felt it but he referenced having some neck stiffness beyond this year.
"He takes a lot of pride in being there for his teammates and playing every day."
When the Rangers traded Ian Kinsler for Fielder neither player went through a physical, with only medical records for each getting exchanged.
Daniels thinks the club could make a move to add a bench bat Sunday but wanted to get through Saturday's game first.
Another injured Ranger, left-hander Derek Holland, threw a bullpen Saturday.
Daniels said that Holland would travel with the Rangers when they begin an 11-game road trip Thursday, but that he's not ready to go out on a rehab assignment. Daniels said Holland is still ahead of schedule but the club doesn't want to push things.
Holland, who is recovering from microfracture surgery in his left knee, could still return before the All-Star break but there are no guarantees. Strengthening the area around his left knee is the focus now.
"The original prognosis was second half, after the All-Star break," Daniels said. "He's come along so quickly in a lot of areas we're hopeful it's before that and it may still be. But there was some highly optimistic thought he could be ready for a rehab assignment as early as next week but we're going to tap the brakes on that."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.