Nerve issue in back hampered Rangers’ Darvish

ARLINGTON, Texas – The mystery of what was bothering Yu Darvish physically down the stretch is a mystery no more.

Darvish was bothered by a nerve issue in his lower back that caused him to lose strength in his right leg.

Darvish started having issues in August and received an injection yesterday. He didn’t have an injection during the season because he would have missed a start.

“He wanted to take the ball every five days,” Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. “I commend him for that. We didn’t want to talk about it publicly. He was fighting through it as a lot of guys are fighting through this time of the year. Some of the times where you saw him struggle with his command at the end or you saw Wash (Ron Washington) maybe get the ball a little earlier than the public expected, Ron and Yu knew that where we hadn’t publicized it.”

Darvish only pitched more than six innings in two of his six September starts. He also had two starts in the month where he matched his career high with six walks.

Daniels said an MRI on Darvish’s back showed no structural issues and he’s expected to be 100 percent by the time spring training starts in February. Darvish returned to Japan and will come back for a checkup on his back in November.

Darvish went 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA and led the majors with 277 strikeouts.

He had back issues during his time in Japan but they were muscular problems.