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Injury bug hits Twins pitchers ahead of Opening Day

Injury bug hits Twins pitchers ahead of Opening Day

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Minnesota Twins will be in Kansas City for Opening Day in less than two weeks, and there’s already cause for concern on the injury front among the pitching staff.

Closer Jhoan Duran, who routinely throws in excess of 100 miles per hour, will start the season on the injured list with an oblique issue. It happened during a live batting practice session at Spring Training on Sunday.

Relief pitcher Caleb Thielbar has a sore hamstring, and has yet to pitch in a Spring Training game in Florida.

Probably of greatest concern is starting pitcher Andrew DeSclafani, who has a right elbow issue and has been shut down by team doctors. He had an elbow issue that forced him to miss the last two months of last season, and also had time on the IL with shoulder fatigue.

DeSclafani came to the Twins in the trade that sent Jorge Polanco to the Seattle Mariners, and if he has to have Tommy John surgery, his season would be over before it starts. If those fears are confirmed, Louie Varland is the likely candidate to take his spot in the starting rotation that currently features Pablo Lopez, Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober and Chris Paddack.

The Twins also removed Byron Buxton from Monday’s lineup with a back issue that the team says is minor.

Opening Day is March 28 at Kansas City. The Twins’ home opener is set for April 4 against the Cleveland Guardians.