Jered Weaver's back is improving, but next start in doubt

Angels ace Jered Weaver might not make his next scheduled start because of lower-back tightness

Jered Weaver, pulled from Monday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays after two innings because of lower-back tightness, felt good enough to play catch Tuesday, but the Angels have not yet decided if their ace will make his next scheduled start Saturday in Texas.

With swingman Hector Santiago available to fill Weaver’s rotation spot either Thursday night or Saturday and the All-Star break beginning Monday, the Angels could push Weaver’s next game back to the start of the second half against Seattle, giving him 11 or 12 days to heal.

But Weaver is also one of the team’s top pitchers, and with the second-place Angels (52-36) trying to catch the first-place Oakland Athletics in the highly competitive American League West, they would prefer Weaver pitch once more before the break if he is sound enough to do so.

“This will be a decision for our medical team,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “I’m sure they’ll get a lot of input from Jered, and Jered will have to get out there and throw off a mound to see how he does before you can anticipate where he is.

“If he’s ready to go, there’s no doubt we’re better with him starting. If we feel we’re putting a player at risk, then he won’t pitch. It’s that simple.”

Weaver, who went on the disabled list because of a similar injury in 2012, underwent treatment Tuesday, but he did not undergo an MRI test. He said after Monday night’s game that he felt “80 times better” than when he came out of the game, and he seemed to be making progress Tuesday.

“I feel a lot better today,” said Weaver, who is 9-6 with a 3.50 earned-run average in 19 starts. “I played a little catch. I should be all right.”

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