Angels 'encouraged' by Lackey MRI

The Angels are "encouraged" by the latest MRI results on John Lackey's right elbow and expect their ace to be on the mound for them by the end of April or early May, general manager Tony Reagins said Monday.

Reagins told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that Lackey's injury isn't as significant as the injury he had last year that also caused him to miss the start of the season. He pitched his first game May 14 of last season and ended up throwing 163 1/3 innings.

"We're encouraged by this," Reagins said. The GM said the team is working to get the inflammation out of Lackey's elbow now.

Lackey received a cortisone shot in his right elbow last week in an attempt to relieve the pain in his ailing arm.

Lackey is one of three Los Angeles starters who will not be ready to open the season with the team. Right-hander Ervin Santana (elbow) and Kelvim Escobar (shoulder) also are sidelined.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.