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Yu downplays early exit with stiff shoulder

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish, making just his third start since returning from Tommy John surgery, exited Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Astros after the fifth inning for precautionary reasons after experiencing stiffness in his right shoulder.

Team physician Dr. Keith Meister immediately examined Darvish and does not anticipate the situation being serious. Darvish began to feel tightness in his neck in the fourth inning, which led to the stiffness in the shoulder in the fifth inning.

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish, making just his third start since returning from Tommy John surgery, exited Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Astros after the fifth inning for precautionary reasons after experiencing stiffness in his right shoulder.

Team physician Dr. Keith Meister immediately examined Darvish and does not anticipate the situation being serious. Darvish began to feel tightness in his neck in the fourth inning, which led to the stiffness in the shoulder in the fifth inning.

Full Game Coverage

This was his first start on regular rest since returning from the surgery.

"Any time a player comes off the field, there is concern," manager Jeff Banister said. "I'm not going to overplay it or underplay it in any one direction until we get re-evaluation. ... We'll sit down with the medical staff and talk to them and see where we're at. Typically, 24 hours, 12 hours or 18 hours tells us a different story."

Video: HOU@TEX: Banister on Darvish leaving early in loss

Darvish began shaking his right arm after striking out George Springer with a curveball in the fifth inning. After Darvish walked Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Banister sent athletic trainer Kevin Harmon and pitching coach Doug Brocail to the mound.

Darvish stayed in the game and got Carlos Correa to fly out to right to end the inning.

"I just noticed some body language. He started stretching his arm a little bit, a little out of [character]. Looked like he started regulating the fastball a little bit. So I sent them out there to talk to him," Banister said. "Obviously, he came off and he talked about a little tightness, so [as a precaution], we took him out of the game, and that's why we have guys down in the bullpen."

Darvish, who underwent Tommy John surgery on March 17, 2015, had similar tightness in his neck during his rehab and downplayed being taken out of the game.

"I believe tomorrow I could play catch, no problem," Darvish said. "I think I need to take that tightness out of my neck area, and that's going to work on my shoulder.

Video: HOU@TEX: Darvish discusses shoulder, leaving game

"Everybody told me that after the Tommy John surgery, you go through all those small things from different places on your body. I think it's one of those things, and I'm not too concerned about that."

Darvish was admittedly not as sharp in this outing, walking a season-high four batters through five innings and allowing his first homer of the season, a leadoff shot by George Springer. He did strike out seven.

Video: HOU@TEX: Darvish strikes out seven over five innings

"The fastball command seemed to come and go. First outing it was exceptional; second outing it got a way from him a little bit," Banister said. "Today was very similar. Didn't feel like he was nailing the fastball [the way] we were accustomed to."

Despite leaving the game early, Darvish expects to stay on schedule. If that's the case, his next start would come on Monday, against the A's.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.

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

Texas Rangers, Yu Darvish