MLB: Brewers RHP Greinke likely to start season on DL

PHOENIX (AP) - Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke is likely to begin the season on the disabled list because of a fractured right rib he injured while playing pickup basketball in the offseason.

The former AL Cy Young winner is expected to be out two to four weeks. Initial X-rays were negative, but an MRI exam Monday revealed a hairline fracture in one rib and a bruise in a second.

Greinke, traded from Kansas City to Milwaukee in the winter, said he was hurt when he went up for a rebound and fell on his side.

"Everyone always told me not to do it because I was going to get hurt," Greinke said. "It finally caught up to me."

The Brewers open the season March 31 in Cincinnati.

"I'm feeling good but it's not worth it," Greinke said. "Hopefully it won't be too long. I don't want to miss any time with the team, especially at the beginning. Until it heals there's nothing you really can do. You just need to let it heal."

Greinke had made two starts this spring, the latest on Sunday when he allowed a run on five hits in two innings against Texas. Overall, the right-hander gave up one run on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 3 1-3 innings.

Milwaukee got Greinke as it tries to load up for a run at its first NL Central title. He won the 2009 AL Cy Young award with Kansas City, going 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts.

He struggled in 2010, finishing 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA before being dealt to Milwaukee along with Yuniesky Betancourt for a package of four prospects.

"It doesn't matter how he hurt it," Brewers manager Doug Melvin said. "This is part of what we go through as a GM."

Melvin said Greinke's spot likely will be filled internally since only a couple of turns in the rotation will need to be taken. He said Milwaukee's schedule in April necessitates using a fifth starter only three times.

"Anybody who's in camp and anyone who has a Brewers uniform can step up and pitches well can take that spot," Melvin said. "It doesn't mean we can replace Zack but it means we'll have a replacement."


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