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Mariners waiting to determine severity, type of contusion suffered by Felix Hernandez

The Mariners have to wait and see how long Felix Hernandez will need to be out of action. (AP)

MESA, Ariz. – It was the last thing manager Scott Servais wanted to see on the field Monday as the Mariners took on the Cubs at Sloan Park. The starter they were relying on to take the ball a minimum of 25 times this year, Felix Hernandez, hit in the forearm by a wicked comebacker off the bat of Cubs catcher Victor Caratini.

Felix left the game in obvious pain to head back to Peoria to be seen by Mariners team doctors, who sent him for precautionary X-rays. The news was somewhat re-assuring: X-rays negative, with Felix to be re-evaluated on Tuesday and currently listed as day to day. Still, there are questions of how long he will be out.

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“The report I got back, it is a contusion,” said Servais. “Nothing is broken, but he is going to be out a little while. We will know more in the next couple of days. Unfortunate it happened, we’re lucky it’s not any worse than it is. We will just wait and see how he is the next couple of days.”

Before the injury, Servais liked what he saw from Hernandez, who threw a 1-2-3 first inning, including strikeouts of Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo.

“He had all of his pitches working, he threw the ball very well,” Servais said. “It’s unfortunate bad luck but lucky for us it’s happened early in the spring and he’s got some time to hopefully recoup, and like I said, I don’t know. We will wait and see how it is in the next couple of days.”

Servais noted the not-so-good déjà vu of the situation – James Paxton was hit on the elbow by a ball off the bat of the Angels’ Andrelton Simmons in August 2106. He was placed on the 15-day DL with an elbow contusion and missed 17 days. Felix appeared to get hit in a different spot than Paxton, at least.

The severity and type of bruise – soft tissue or bone – will determine how long he misses. Similar cases have kept players out as little as a few days or as much as six weeks if there is no muscle or tendon tear.

For Servais it is tough to see Felix sidelined for any amount of time.

“He’s been working his tail off to put him in a good spot. We wanted to get him out there early in the spring to build up his innings.

“Like I said we will have to play it by ear here the next couple of days.”

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