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Jordan Zimmermann to miss at least 1 start with groin strain

DETROIT -- Tigers pitcher Jordan Zimmermann has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 groin strain, the mildest possible strain.

Manager Brad Ausmus said Zimmermann, who exited the Tigers' game on Sunday due to injury, might even be able to avoid the 15-day disabled list.

Zimmermann has been ruled out for his next start, which had been scheduled for Friday, but he could take the mound on his following turn.

Ausmus said he felt much more optimistic about Zimmermann's prognosis than when the pitcher left the field Sunday.

Zimmermann, who signed as a free agent this winter, has been the club's best pitcher through the first quarter of the season, posting a 7-2 record with a 2.52 ERA.

The Tigers also will be without outfielder Justin Upton, at least for Monday night.

The outfielder is experiencing right quadriceps tightness and will be replaced in the lineup by Steven Moya, who will bat sixth and play left field.

Detroit hosts the Philadelphia Phillies in the opener of a three-game series.