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Mariners’ James Paxton to miss at least 1 start, but news could have been much worse

Mariners LHP James Paxton was hit by a comebacker on his throwing arm Tuesday. (AP)

OAKLAND, Calif. – The news was about as good as could be expected Tuesday night, X-rays revealing Mariners starter James Paxton did not suffer any broken bones when hit on the left forearm by a 96 mph Jed Lowrie comebacker, but Paxton will still miss at least one start.

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“It’s unfortunate, but maybe we got lucky,” manager Scott Servais said. “It’s a bruise on the left forearm, he didn’t get hit on the elbow. No timeline, we just have to wait and see how he feels tomorrow. Maybe we caught a little break but Paxton has been a force for us all year. There’s nothing you can do. It’s a comebacker, I knew right away when I went out there it wasn’t going to be good.”

It sure wasn’t good. Trainer Matt Toth took one look at the swelling that was already present in Paxton’s arm and turned him toward the dugout. In the clubhouse following the Mariners’ 3-2 loss to the A’s, not only could the swelling be seen, but so could the seam marks from the ball that hit just on the inside of Paxton’s elbow.

“It’s pretty painful right now because the muscles are tightened up, there’s a lot of swelling in there,” Paxton said. “I think over the next few days I will be able to move it, get range of motion back as we get the swelling out.”

That will take some time. Tuesday night, Paxton was able to move his wrist a bit but that was it. As he is sure to miss at least one start, he will be placed on the disabled list and Félix Hernández will take his place in the rotation. Paxton’s job now is to get healthy, and he has experience with this kind of injury, getting hit with another comebacker two years ago.

“I had the same kind of thing happen in 2016,” he said. “It hit me in a very similar spot. We are going to do everything we can to get the swelling out of there as soon as possible. I’m going to do everything I can to get back out on the field as soon as possible.”

In 2016, Paxton missed 19 days with the injury. The hope obviously is that this time the swelling will subside quicker.

“It’s unfortunate, but on the bright side we probably could have got a little lucky,” said Servais. “It could have been a lot, lot worse.”

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