Rookie Outman out with elbow injury

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Josh Outman hopes his elbow injury was caught early enough that it won't threaten his rookie season.

The Oakland Athletics placed the left-hander on the disabled list Wednesday with a sprained left elbow, though they were uncertain about a timetable for his return. Outman had an MRI exam Monday and a more extensive contrast MRI on Wednesday. The A's were still waiting for team orthopedist Dr. John Frazier to evaluate the results before speculating how long he would be sidelined.

Outman hasn't pitched since leaving his start on Friday at San Diego after 1 2/3 innings.

"It's disappointing, but I hope it keeps me from having a further injury and doesn't end my season," Outman said, a large heating pad wrapped around his pitching arm. "My elbow actually feels good. It doesn't hurt moving around and I have full range of motion. For the time being, I have a positive mindset knowing my body feels pretty good."

The move is retroactive to Saturday. Outman is 4-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 games this season, including 12 starts. He had a similar injury in high school.

Oakland recalled lefty Gio Gonzalez from Triple-A Sacramento to start the series finale against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.

This marks the 12th time in 2009 the A's have needed the disabled list. The club set an Oakland record last season with 25 DL trips and has used the disabled list 59 times since the start of the 2007 season.

"It's always difficult when players get hurt," manager Bob Geren said. "I don't think we're an exception at all."

Justin Duchscherer, another injured A's starter, is set to resume a throwing program in the coming days in Arizona once he's medically cleared. The two-time All-Star right-hander, who had been projected as the team's opening day starter, underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery in late March after being bothered by pain all spring.