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Darvish continues to rehab lower back issue

Rangers are confident right-hander will be healthy for Spring Training

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is spending the week in Arlington to work out and get a medical checkup on his lower back.

Darvish was dealing with inflammation in a nerve in the area over the final six weeks of the season. He was given an anti-inflammatory injection once the season was over, and the Rangers don't expect the problem to linger into next year. Darvish will be re-evaluated this week to see exactly where he stands in his recovery.

Darvish's strength and endurance were affected by the nerve problem and he was 1-4 with a 3.38 ERA in his last nine starts. The Rangers went 3-6 in those starts but Darvish didn't want to come out of the rotation while his team was fighting for a spot in the playoffs. The Rangers won his last three starts, but Darvish didn't complete six innings in any of them.

Darvish finished the season 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA in 32 starts and 209 innings while leading the Major Leagues with 277 strikeouts. He finished second to Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer in the American League Cy Young Award voting, and he is a finalist for the Starting Pitcher of the Year GIBBY, which fans can vote on through Dec. 1.

The Rangers aren't expected to release a medical report on Darvish until later in the week.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
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