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Rox lefty Anderson awaiting MRI results on back

Injury could force hurler, in first year with Colorado, to miss rest of 2014

PHOENIX -- It's possible that Rockies left-hander Brett Anderson's latest freakish injury could force him to miss the rest of the season.

Anderson suffered a back injury during Tuesday's start against the Cubs, and underwent an MRI on Friday to determine if there is "disk involvement," according to Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger.

If that's the case, it will end the season for Anderson, who has never had a back injury.

Then again, odd injuries are Anderson's lot.

In April, Anderson (1-3, 2.91 ERA in eight starts) suffered a broken left index finger while hitting a pitch off the end of his bat. Usually, the bat breaks, but the player's hand doesn't. That injury cost him three months.

Anderson left after three scoreless innings on Tuesday. In fact, since giving up six runs (five earned) in his first inning on July 13, his first game back in the rotation, he held opponents to four runs in 27 1/3 innings.

The year of pain comes on the heels of a 2013 season with the Athletics that was marred by ankle and foot injuries. Anderson also underwent Tommy John surgery in his left elbow in 2011.

The Rockies are left to weigh the potential against the injuries, and their constant starting-pitching needs, when deciding whether to pick up Anderson's $12 million club option for 2015.

Anderson's injuries this year are part of a frustrating year in which the Rockies have been forced to use 14 different starting pitchers. From the start of the season, only lefty Jorge De La Rosa (11-7, 4.27 ERA) has pitched well enough to stay in the rotation and been healthy enough not to visit the DL -- and De La Rosa was touch-and-go at one point when his back bothered him.

Righty Tyler Chatwood made four starts before undergoing Tommy John surgery and is out for the year. Righty Jhoulys Chacin was limited to 11 starts because of a rotator cuff strain and a slight labrum tear, and isn't likely to return. Righty Jordan Lyles returned this week after missing two months with a broken left hand.

Add to that injuries to righty callups Eddie Butler (rotator cuff strain) and Christian Bergman (broken left hand), and you have a year full of pitching injuries. Bergman made a rehab start at Triple-A Colorado Springs on Friday.

Besides De La Rosa, two other members of the original 2014 starting rotation have not visited the disabled list, but they've had their issues.

Lefty Franklin Morales has been in and out of the rotation because he hasn't avoided the home run (20 in 106 1/3 innings total, 15 in 88 1/3 as a starter). Righty Juan Nicasio was optioned to Colorado Springs on June 6, and returned to the team Thursday as a reliever.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.
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