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03/04/08 6:57 PM ET
Lowry battling tendinitis in left hand
Giants southpaw resents comparisons to Blass, Ankiel
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Noah Lowry attributed his stunning inability to throw strikes to a case of tendinitis between his left thumb and wrist, which impedes his grip on the ball and robs him of control. Lowry was scheduled to return to San Francisco on Tuesday to consult Dr. Gordon Brody, a hand specialist who works with the Giants. Early Tuesday morning in the Phoenix area, Lowry visited Dr. Gary Waslewski, who made the diagnosis after administering an X-ray and range-of-motion tests. Lowry has been told to treat the injury by resting the affected area for a couple of days, wearing a splint and taking anti-inflammatory medicine. Although Lowry is expected to miss his next start, which would have been Friday against Oakland, manager Bruce Bochy believes that the 27-year-old will be ready to join the season-opening starting rotation as planned. Lowry said that he noticed the malady, which manifested itself as "fatigue" in his thumb, about a week ago. He tried to pitch through it, but walking nine of the 12 Texas Rangers batters he faced and throwing three pitches to the backstop Monday prompted him to seek medical help. Lowry, who displayed his quivering thumb for reporters, took comfort in learning that the injury is apparently not severe and should delay his preparation for the regular season only slightly. "You never want to have an injury," Lowry said, "but on a scale of one to 10, it's closer to a one or two." Lowry said that receiving a cortisone shot would be an option if his injury doesn't respond to the initial treatment. He'd prefer to avoid that step, but after missing part of the 2006 season with a right oblique strain and the final month of last season with tightness in his left forearm, Lowry's fed up with inactivity. And he realized how jarring his performance Monday looked. "I don't want to miss any more time for me or for [the team]," he said. "But at the same time, not just for myself but for these guys on the field, I can't go through what I went through yesterday. The outing, so to speak, doesn't bother me, but that affects the demeanor around here, in my opinion, and that's not something I want to do. I don't want to affect the team in that way. I'm going to get this thing taken care of and we'll go from there." Always forthright with reporters, Lowry explained that he didn't address the media after Monday's game because it was still in progress (reporters usually are allowed in clubhouses during Spring Training exhibitions) and he wanted to discuss his injury with Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti first.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.