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Norris sidelined again by groin injury

MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- Daniel Norris was back in the clubhouse at Comerica Park on Monday, reunited with his teammates. It's the end goal the Tigers' young left-hander wanted, but not the circumstances, not with his groin injury again forcing him off the mound.

A day after Norris' injured left groin flared up on him during a rehab start for Triple-A Toledo, Norris was back in Detroit for a visit with team doctors to determine the cause and extent of an injury that landed him on the 10-day disabled list just before the All-Star break.

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DETROIT -- Daniel Norris was back in the clubhouse at Comerica Park on Monday, reunited with his teammates. It's the end goal the Tigers' young left-hander wanted, but not the circumstances, not with his groin injury again forcing him off the mound.

A day after Norris' injured left groin flared up on him during a rehab start for Triple-A Toledo, Norris was back in Detroit for a visit with team doctors to determine the cause and extent of an injury that landed him on the 10-day disabled list just before the All-Star break.

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Norris already underwent an MRI exam on the groin.

"The MRI was pretty mild," Norris said. "That's why we're trying to figure it out. It shouldn't be lingering. It's not really painful for me. It's just pretty obvious to me that [the strength] is not there."

Norris lasted two-thirds of an inning for the Mud Hens in his second rehab start on Sunday, allowing two runs on two hits -- one of them a home run -- with two walks and a strikeout. He threw 17 of 32 pitches for strikes before leaving the game with the Hens' head athletic trainer.

Unlike past outings, when Norris would feel fine early before the injury would flare up, Norris said he felt tightness in his groin while warming up in the bullpen Sunday and it never loosened up. He also has a right quadriceps injury that seems to be related.

"It's like back and forth with that," Norris said. "It's been going on since the start against the Rays [on June 16]. I threw well that game, but we scored 13 runs that game, so we had a couple of really long innings. I was trying to keep it loose there, but even toward the end of that game it was getting really tight on me. I took that into the next few starts and wasn't really able to get over that hump."

Video: TB@DET: Norris fans Dickerson in the 1st inning

Norris said he had more weakness than pain Sunday. When he tried to push off in his delivery, the groin injury caused his left leg to give out. The quad injury affects him on the landing in his delivery.

"I wanted to try to pitch through it and get over that wall," Norris said. "But you go out there and your competitiveness is sometimes stronger than your body."

Next Sunday will mark the two-year anniversary of Norris joining the Tigers as the prized prospect in the David Price trade to Toronto. He's 10-10 with a 4.29 ERA in 38 Tigers appearances, 37 of them starts, including 4-7 with a 5.29 ERA in 16 starts this year.

The competitiveness and pitching ability are evident in the 24-year-old, but his progress has been slowed by injuries. An oblique injury cost him a month down the stretch in 2015. A back injury in Spring Training derailed his quest for a rotation spot, costing him most of April on the DL, followed by an oblique injury in July.

The latest injury likely means more time in the rotation for fellow young lefty Matthew Boyd, who has two six-inning quality starts in as many outings since rejoining the Tigers after the All-Star break. He's on track to start again Saturday against the Astros at Comerica Park.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Detroit Tigers, Daniel Norris