Sore right ankle puts Lohse's next start in doubt

Sore right ankle puts Lohse's next start in doubt

CHICAGO -- By noon CT on Thursday, Kyle Lohse had already received two rounds of treatment on the sore right ankle he'd tweaked the night before, but he remained in limbo for his next scheduled start on Tuesday against the Blue Jays.

Because of a team off-day preceding Lohse's start, the Brewers have the flexibility to skip his turn and keep the rest of their starting pitchers on schedule.

"He's got to get a lot better," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I hate to put him out there again if that thing is going to still bother him. Then you worry about the next start after it. We do have an off-day -- he was supposed to pitch Tuesday -- so we could adjust it if it's still sore."

Asked about that scenario, Lohse pointed toward the manager's office and said, "That's up to them. I'll take the ball when I can. Right now, I don't know when that will be, so we'll see. It's still five days away. I'm sure they're already thinking about it, you guys [reporters] are already thinking about it. I'm just trying to think about what I need to do to try to get ready to take the ball the next time I'm on the hill, whenever that is." 

Lohse has been dealing with the injury since he rolled the ankle chasing an errant baseball on Aug. 2 in St. Louis. He altered his mechanics to compensate six days later against the Dodgers and was able to deliver six innings of one-run ball, but he re-aggravated the issue while batting in the third inning of Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Cubs.

Was it pretty sore on Thursday morning?

"Yeah," Lohse said with a sigh. "It's weird, because it's not like a roll or a sprain that's a big, blowout thing. It's where, when I'm pushing off, it's affecting what I'm trying to do. It's just one of those things where you can't repeat your mechanics because you can't get your balance, you can't push off. You don't want it to lead to something else. I was fighting it the whole time last night, and made it worse when I tried to check a swing. I don't even know what happened. I didn't look to see what exactly it looked like, but it didn't feel good. I thought I could go and keep battling it out, but it wasn't smart to keep going like that. ...

"It's just frustrating, because it doesn't feel that bad. It's just an annoying thing. It's just not right. That's all I can say right now." 

Lohse indicated he had yet to undergo an X-ray or MRI on the ankle. 

"That's probably my fault because I was trying to push it," Lohse said. "It's probably my fault because I was telling them I'm good. I'll be a little smarter this time."

All parties agree that the injury is relatively minor. But Roenicke's primary concern is that even a minor injury can affect a player's mechanics and lead to trouble in the future.

"You know, Kyle's obviously very important to us the rest of the season," Roenicke said. "We can't have him going out there if he's going to scuffle with the physical part of it, and if we can skip him, which we can with this day off, then it may be the way to go. But I haven't really talked to him about it, so we'll see how he's doing here in the next couple days."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.