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Originally published June 12, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 13, 2008 at 12:02 AM

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M's Putz out until at least Monday

The Seattle Mariners say closer J. J. Putz has a hyperextended pitching elbow, a swollen triceps tendon and nerve irritation in his right...

AP Sports Writer

SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners say closer J.J. Putz has a hyperextended pitching elbow, a swollen triceps tendon and nerve irritation in his right arm that will keep him from throwing at least through this weekend.

Putz, an All-Star in 2007 who has struggled for much of this woeful Mariners season, has already missed 18 games with a ribcage injury and has also had knee and finger pain. He was removed from Wednesday's win at Toronto in the ninth inning after shaking his pained arm following a pitch.

Putz had an MRI exam Thursday. Mariners medical director Dr. Edward Khalfayan said the test showed no damage to the ulnar collateral ligament or the flexor bundle in his right elbow — potentially more serious injuries.

Khalfayan's diagnosis is triceps tendon inflammation and an irritated ulnar nerve.

Putz will not throw over the weekend. He will be re-evaluated on Monday.

The 31-year-old has a 5.21 ERA with 17 walks and three blown saves in 20 games this season. He had a 1.38 with 13 walks and 40 saves in 42 chances last year. His troubles are a large reason why Seattle (24-42), which expected to make the playoffs this season for the first time since 2001, will begin its weekend series against Washington on Friday with the worst record in the major leagues.

Right-hander Brandon Morrow, Seattle's fifth overall draft choice in 2006 who replaced Putz Wednesday and got the save, is the likely interim closer. A few weeks ago, the Mariners discussed moving the hard-throwing former starter at the University of California into their rotation this season. Then they decided Morrow was too valuable as Putz's primary setup man.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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