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.