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Zimmermann aims to pitch again this season

Tigers right-hander will see neck specialist on Wednesday
MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann expected he would need another nerve block injection in his neck at some point this year. If anything, it was surprising it took this long before the pain returned in his neck.

Now, he hopes the next treatment helps him as much as the first one did last fall.

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DETROIT -- Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann expected he would need another nerve block injection in his neck at some point this year. If anything, it was surprising it took this long before the pain returned in his neck.

Now, he hopes the next treatment helps him as much as the first one did last fall.

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"I got the shot in November last year, but I had all that time off from throwing," Zimmermann said on Tuesday, "and when I picked up a ball, I was fine. So who knows if the time off helped it or the shot helped it? We'll find out."

Zimmermann will travel to Dallas on Wednesday for a visit with neck specialist Dr. Andrew Dossett, who saw the pitcher last November. When Zimmermann received a nerve block injection then, he was expected to get another one shortly afterwards. He felt good enough, long enough that they held off, saving the second one for whenever he needs it.

Though it's no certainty until he's examined, Zimmermann expects he needs it now.

"I felt it getting a little tight and kind of getting down into the shoulder," Zimmermann said. "And then the last start, I started getting a little more, a little more. It's same feeling I had last year, so I'm going to go down there, talk to Dossett for a little bit and probably get the injection. And then I think it's no-throw for three days. I'll meet the team in Cleveland and start throwing."

Zimmermann wants to pitch again this season, if anything to try to figure out any mechanical adjustments before he heads home for the offseason. He'll have to rest for a few days before throwing again, but he expects to be able to progress quickly from there.

"I don't plan on being shut down," Zimmermann said. "I'm going to throw, probably throw a bullpen [session], maybe two bullpens, I'm not sure, depending on how I feel, and try to get a couple more starts in here before the end of the season, try to figure these mechanics out."

If Zimmermann can't, he's not going to sweat it.

"If I don't figure it out the last couple starts, I have all offseason to figure it out," he said. "And I won't have to worry about pain in my neck all offseason. That's going to be nice. I did a bunch of rehab last year. I'm still going to do the rehab stuff for this, but it's to the point where now I know what it is, I don't have to have it in the back of my mind."

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

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Detroit Tigers, Jordan Zimmermann