PHOENIX -- Brewers right fielder Corey Hart will miss about two weeks of exhibition games while recovering from a strained muscle along his left rib cage, the club announced Monday. That marked a somewhat more serious diagnosis than the one Hart gave a few hours earlier, after he was examined by Dr. Craig Young at Maryvale Baseball Park. Hart said he only expected to be shut down "a few more days." "I think it's hard to tell exactly how long it's going to be," manager Ron Roenicke said. "But [assistant GM Gord Ash] said there is a strain there, and he wants to be overprotective of it. I was a little bummed when I heard two weeks."
Roenicke's understanding is that Hart could be back playing in games in two weeks, not that he would be entirely shut down for that entire period. Hart was hurt during a throwing drill Saturday. He said it was the first time he'd tweaked an oblique muscle in his career. "[Young] said we would probably push it a little harder if we were in the middle of the season, but there's no reason to push it right now," Hart said. "We're going to try easing in so we don't have any setbacks at all." Hart's duties Monday were limited to receiving treatment in the training room. He was among the handful of players on the injury report as the Brewers began their exhibition schedule: Relievers John Axford (illness), Manny Parra (back), Zach Braddock (blister), LaTroy Hawkins (shoulder) and Mitch Stetter (back/shoulder) were not on the list to pitch against the Giants or Cubs, but none are seriously hurt. Axford suffered a bout of food poisoning early in camp and has slowly been working back. Parra had some minor back stiffness last week and was scheduled to throw a live batting practice session Monday. Stetter strained the latissimus dorsi muscle behind his left shoulder during the team's pre-Spring Training minicamp but said he would throw off a mound by the end of the week. Infielder Mat Gamel remains restricted from hitting because of his own rib-cage strain. He's been able to take part in fielding drills during his layoff. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is out with a fractured right pinkie finger and has a doctor's appointment for late this week to set a plan for rehab.