Marco Estrada questionable for Blue Jays due to lower back injury

Marco Estrada could miss his scheduled start against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday due to a lower back injury.

Pitcher played through pain in Saturday's 9-6 victory over Cleveland

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marco Estrada helped his team bounce back against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday but may have aggravated an old injury in the process. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Marco Estrada could miss his scheduled start against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday due to a lower back injury.

The right-hander battled through the injury for five innings on Saturday afternoon, surrendering three earned runs on five hits while striking out seven in the Blue Jays 9-6 win over the Cleveland Indians.

His outing against the Indians matched his shortest of the season (April 21) and Estrada (5-3, 2.93 ERA) was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Sunday.

"The circumstances are a little different, I wanted to pitch — we had the 19-inning game [on Friday] and I knew we were going to need something from somebody," Estrada said of his decision to pitch through the injury. "It hasn't really bothered me. I've been feeling this the last three or four starts but it hasn't been terrible, it's been something I've been able to deal with."

Estrada missed spring training and started the season on the disabled list with a similar injury. He received a cortisone shot for the injury in the spring.

"I feel it while I'm getting loose and once I warm up, it just kind of goes away, it hasn't been bad," Estrada said.

Estrada said he aggravates the injury swinging the bat, which he had to do during starts in Philadelphia and Colorado last month.

The 32-year-old pitcher admitted missing his final scheduled start prior to the all-star break, the series opener against the Tigers, could be a wise decision for his long-term health.

"Probably, I don't want to, but if missing one start means I'm going to be healthy the rest of the year, then it's probably the smartest thing to do," said Estrada. "It's something we have to talk about."

With Estrada's health in question, Drew Hutchison has earned a longer stay with the Blue Jays. The right-hander surrendered two earned-runs on three hits in one inning of work on Saturday — it was his first appearance with the Blue Jays since April 24.

Hutchison could potentially start in place of Estrada on Thursday.


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