Mariners' Felix Hernandez told to rest strained right calf 4-6 weeks

Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, originally expected to be out two weeks with a strained right calf, is now expected to be sidelined another four weeks after undergoing a second MRI on Friday.

The team initially hoped that Hernandez, who is 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 10 starts, would miss only two starts after being placed on the disabled list June 1. But Hernandez told ESPN's Marly Rivera on Saturday that while the second MRI showed improvement, the Mariners' medical director, Dr. Edward Khalfayan, wants him to rest the calf for four to six weeks.

"I have already been [on] the DL about 12 days, so those days are included [in the 4-6 weeks]," Hernandez said, adding that he expects to be throwing again before the team returns from its next road trip on June 24.

The Mariners told ESPN's Jim Caple that the extended timetable was due to the calf strain not healing as quickly as originally estimated.

"[Friday] when [the doctor] told me that [it would take 4-6 weeks], even though I understand that he's just doing it so I don't reinjure myself until I am fully recovered, I felt really bad," Hernandez told Rivera. "All I want to do is pitch with my team."

According to Hernandez, Mariners manager Scott Servais told him not to worry and that the team would do its part to survive without the six-time All-Star.

"[Servais] joked that I will be their best acquisition at the trade deadline," Hernandez said. "But it's really frustrating. That's all I like to do, pitch."

Servais told reporters after Saturday's 2-1, extra-inning loss to the Texas Rangers that Hernandez will need more than a couple bullpen sessions to build his arm back up given the time he has missed already and that there is no set timetable at this point.

The 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner said he has been told by Khalfayan to wear a walking boot "as often as possible" to protect the muscles surrounding the calf so it can "get better quicker."

While there has been much attention given to the decreased velocity of his fastball, Hernandez has remained a highly effective pitcher, if not a bit inconsistent. Opponents are hitting just .217 against him.

This current stint marks only the third time that the 30-year-old Hernandez has landed on the DL in his 12-year career, with his last visit coming during the 2008 season because of a sprained left ankle.

The Mariners are currently second in the AL West at 34-28 entering the rubber match of a three-game series against the division-leading Rangers.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.