MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 14: Dave Pruemer, trainer for the Minnesota Twins visits Nick Blackburn #53 on the mound as Joe Mauer #7 looks on during the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers on April 14, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Nick Blackburn Injury: Twins Pitcher Reportedly Ready To Start Again On Tuesday

After a positive bullpen session on Sunday, reports have Blackburn ready to start on Tuesday.

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Minnesota Twins Pitcher Nick Blackburn Will Miss Next Start

Just a day after an MRI of Minnesota Twins pitcher Nick Blackburn's shoulder revealed no damage, Rhett Bollinger reports Blackburn will miss his next start.

Blackburn (0-1, 5.56 ERA) felt tightness in the back of the shoulder Saturday against the Texas Rangers, and he left in the sixth inning. Anthony Swarzak will likely move up to start in Blackburn's place on Thursday. In two starts, Swarzak is 0-2 with an ERA of 3.75 in 12 innings pitched.

The Minnesota Twins begin a four-game series with the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium Monday. Carl Pavano is expected to start Monday, followed by Francisco Liriano Tuesday and Jason Marquis on Wednesday.

For more on the Twins, head to Twinkie Town. For more MLB coverage, check out Baseball Nation.

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Nick Blackburn Injury: MRI On Twins Pitcher Shows No Serious Damage

Key starter Scott Baker has already been lost for the season, and it looked like another Minnesota Twins starting pitcher was about to hit the injury list on Saturday when Nick Blackburn had to leave prematurely in the sixth inning with a shoulder injury.

Given an MRI soon after the game to assess his timetable and the severity, ESPN 1500 Twin Cities broke the triumphant news that Blackburn's MRI revealed no structural damage, and that he could conceivably step back into his normal spot in the rotation next week according to league sources.

It's clear this news represents a huge sigh of relief for Minnesota's organization, as the prospect of losing another important part of the rotation could put this team in a serious early-season bind. The Twins will still play it very safe with Blackburn going forward to avoid the possibility of aggravating or worsening the injury, but this is an encouraging sign for the 30-year-old hurler.

Blackburn has won 39 games over the last four seasons with the Twins, and remains a consistent innings eater as a ground ball specialist in the back of the rotation.

For more on the Twins, head to Twinkie Town. For more MLB coverage, check out Baseball Nation.

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