FORT MYERS, FLA. – Twins lefthander Glen Perkins aborted a bullpen session Monday when he again felt discomfort in his right side. The All-Star closer will confer with physicians Tuesday but is prepared to miss several days of workouts.
Perkins said he was five pitches in when he felt something pull on his right side, similar to what happened Friday that led to him being shut down for two days. Perkins shut himself down as soon as he felt something.
“I don’t know what it is,” he said, “It’s oblique-ish something. Hopefully it’s not bad. It’s like a pull more than a strain.”
The plan was for Perkins to throw in the bullpen Monday and then pitch an inning Wednesday against the Rays at Hammond Stadium. That won’t happen now, as the Twins hope to pinpoint what is ailing Perkins by Tuesday.
Most of the medical staff traveled to Bradenton on Monday as the Twins and Pirates played a six-inning B game followed by the regularly scheduled Grapefruit League game.
Perkins didn’t sound frustrated as he spoke. He actually was positive because he feels he stopped his session before he could have made things worse. In May 2011, Perkins missed 22 games over a 25-day period because of a right oblique strain.
“I pulled my oblique in 2011,” Perkins said. “I know what it felt like when I did it, and I could hardly walk, I could not take my shoes off, I could not get out of a chair. It kinda feels like it did before I hurt it the last time. If this is a week [of not pitching], it is much better than a month.”
When talking about Perkins on Sunday, Twins manager Paul Molitor sounded relieved that his closer was shut down for a couple of days before his injury worsened. He was treated with a muscle stimulation machine, played some catch and deemed ready to return to the mound.
This comes after Perkins was shut down for the final 11 games of the regular season last year because of a left forearm strain and some irritation near his ulnar nerve. Rest and rehabilitation has solved that problem, but now he has another concern to deal with.
Perkins doesn’t believe his routine in getting ready for the start of the regular season will be interrupted too much. He said most relievers are ready to start the season by their final two outings of spring training, so missing a few games early isn’t the worst thing.
All Perkins needs now is to make sure he will only miss about a week or so. He will know more when the Twins trainers and medical staff get together and plot a course of action.
“I’ll probably have a better answer [Wednesday],” he said.
Perkins was 4-3 with a 3.65 ERA and converted 34 of 41 save opportunities last season. He teamed up with Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki to earn the save for the American League at last summer’s All-Star Game at Target Field.