Indians expect Carmona to miss four weeks with hip injury

CLEVELAND -- Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona is expected to be sidelined four weeks with a strained left hip.

An MRI exam revealed a moderate strain of an exterior muscle in Carmona's left hip, Lonnie Soloff, Cleveland's head athletic trainer, said Sunday.

"The good news is that there was no damage to the interior, which would have been much more serious," Soloff said. "If all goes well, Fausto should be able to start playing catch in about seven days."

Carmona emerged as one of the AL's top pitchers a year ago when he compiled a 19-8 record and 3.06 ERA. This year, he went 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA through his first nine starts before giving up six runs in two innings Friday night in a 13-9 loss to the Texas Rangers.

The 24-year-old right-hander strained his hip in the third inning when he covered first base on a grounder hit by the Rangers' David Murphy.

The Indians are expected to activate right-hander Jake Westbrook to take Carmona's place in the rotation, which has an AL-best 3.21 ERA this season.

Westbrook has been out since April 22 with a strained muscle near his left ribcage. At the time Carmona was injured in Cleveland, Westbrook was pitching six scoreless innings on a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron.