Forearm woes land Britton back on DL

May 7th, 2017

BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Zach Britton admitted on Saturday that he rushed back from the disabled list, eager to help the team and put his left forearm issue behind him. But the end result saw Britton, activated on Tuesday, back on the DL on Saturday, with an appointment to see a specialist in Los Angeles on Monday.

"I think the doctors and the trainers wanted me to be a little more cautious with it at the time, maybe take another week," Britton said of his initial injury. "I felt pretty good and wanted to come back to the team. I was kind of over sitting on the bench watching games and felt I was in a good enough position to come back, but obviously I wasn't."

The good news is that Britton's second MRI on Saturday didn't show any damage to his left elbow. Instead, the test revealed a little more inflammation near the forearm muscle, and the lefty is hoping that he just needs to be patient and rest.

"I think [Dr.] ElAttrache will have a better idea. [Dr.] Jacobs did not want to put a time frame on it yet until we talk to other doctors," Britton said of his second DL trip. "I would assume [it will be longer than 10 days], if anything, because we're going to be cautious with it."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter bristled at the notion that the team wasn't cautious the first time around, saying that the lefty, who threw on Tuesday and Thursday in Boston, was brought along slowly the first time around.

"I'm not one who deals with hindsights or whatever. He answered a lot of questions with his outing [in the Minor Leagues]. We threw him an extra outing down there to be sure," Showalter said of Britton's rehab. "I don't look back at it with any regret. We were where we needed to be with it. I look forward to him getting back as soon as possible."

Britton, an All-Star in 2016, is a key component of the Orioles club. He's converted 54 consecutive saves, but he has been hampered with health issues this season. After dealing with an oblique injury in Spring Training, he landed on the DL in April after feeling discomfort in his forearm in Toronto.

Britton said he woke up on Friday morning with forearm discomfort, and he was noticeably absent from the O's bullpen in Baltimore's 4-2 win over the White Sox later that night.

Showalter said following Britton's West Coast second opinion, he will likely go to Sarasota, Fla., to continue his rehab in warmer weather. There's no public timeline for now, as Britton is hoping to get this situation resolved once and for all.

"Thankfully it's the same issue. It's not anything else with the elbow," said Britton, who was replaced on the active roster by righty . "It's a muscle, which is great, because it's going to heal. Ligaments and tendons, normally, you've got to manage it. It's going to heal, it's just a matter of time. I guess if there's any positive, that's it."