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Timetable for Jered Weaver's return uncertain

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

The Angels ace was skipped for Friday's start against Detroit because of biceps tendinitis but could be back in the rotation next week. Weaver says he will not sit out the remainder of the season.

September 08, 2012|By Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times

Jered Weaver understands the importance of September baseball, but he's more intimate with how his right arm should feel.

"I can't keep going at 75 to 80%," Weaver said Friday, making his first comments since an MRI exam this week revealed biceps tendinitis that forced him from Friday's scheduled start against the Detroit Tigers. "I needed some time off."

How much remains uncertain.

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia wouldn't discount the idea of Weaver returning next week against the Oakland Athletics.

"He'll have to … let it calm down," Scioscia said.

With just 24 games remaining after Friday's, Weaver (16-4, 2.86 earned-run average) could conceivably make five more starts on four days' rest if he returned Tuesday against Oakland.

He said his discomfort at the front of his shoulder dates to his nine-strikeout complete game Aug. 6 in Oakland.

"It's been lingering ever since," Weaver said. "I've pitched through this before. I'd do the treatment. But when it feels like it was getting better, I would have to throw 100 to 120 pitches and it sets me back again."

Weaver is 2-3 since Aug. 6, giving up an uncharacteristic nine earned runs in three innings Aug. 17 against Tampa Bay.

The tightness restricted him from throwing his best slider and decreased his fastball velocity. He's taking anti-inflammatory medication and will undergo treatments of stretching and massages.

He said an MRI exam performed Wednesday followed by an examination by team orthopedist Lewis Yocum showed "normal wear and tear." The prescription: "Rest it, and hope to get back out there as soon as possible."

Weaver plans to throw on the side from 75 to 90 feet Saturday, with the "hope there's no bite."

"It all depends on how it responds. Obviously, I'd like to skip just the one start. … I'm not taking the rest of the year off. If I have to go out there at 80%, I'll be out there."

Aybar shaken

Angels shortstop Erick Aybar left another telephone message for Oakland pitcher Brandon McCarthy Thursday after Aybar hit a hard line drive that fractured McCarthy's skull Wednesday, requiring emergency and possibly life-saving surgery.

The pitcher has been described as "alert, awake and resting comfortably" by the Athletics.

"It has been a tough last two days for me as I keep replaying in my head when the ball struck Brandon," Aybar said in a statement released by the Angels on Friday. "I am encouraged and thankful to know he has made significant progress and I keep praying to God to please help recover quickly and fully. … Our game is a tight brotherhood and right now we all wear the same uniform colors."

Scioscia said the incident can't help but upset Aybar, who batted .345 with 22 runs batted in in the 28 games before Friday's.

"Obviously for Brandon, it's terrible, and the guy who it touches most is the guy who hit the ball.… You never want anyone hit or hurt," Scioscia said. "He feels it, but you understand there are things out of your control."

Short hops

Scioscia dropped cold-hitting Mark Trumbo to seventh in the batting order with the slugger mired in a 23-for-130 skid before Friday that dropped his batting average 35 points, with three homers in 40 games. … Scioscia would not commit to who's pitching beyond C.J. Wilson on Saturday and Zack Greinke on Sunday, saying Jerome Williams, Garrett Richards and Barry Enright are the candidates for a start if Weaver's not ready to return.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimespugmire

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