Brewers' Looper to miss 2nd straight start

Updated: March 3, 2009, 5:10 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Braden Looper will miss his second straight spring training start because of a strained oblique muscle and might not be ready for opening day.

Brewers manager Ken Macha said Tuesday that Looper will not be allowed to throw for the next 10-to- 12 days and might not heal in time for April 7 opener.

"We may have to be prepared for getting somebody else ready," Macha said.

Right-hander Seth McClung will take Looper's rotation spot and will start Thursday against Australia's World Baseball Classic team.

But Looper, on the disabled list only once in his 10-year career, remains optimistic that he won't be out long.

"I know I'm feeling a lot better," he said. "I hope I feel good enough Thursday that by my next turn in the rotation I'd be ready to throw to hitters. That's just my goal. That may be completely not feasible, but that's what I'm working for."

Looper, signed as a free agent for $4.75 million just before spring training, was scratched minutes before his scheduled start Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels after he felt tightness in his left oblique during his bullpen warmups.

He has said he first felt a twinge in his side when he sneezed earlier in the week.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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