Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. had flexor tendon setback during lockout

Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. continues to be sidelined by a flexor tendon problem that he said was exacerbated during the lockout, when he couldn't be in touch with team trainers.

"I was experiencing just a not fully 100-percent-type of feeling," McCullers told reporters at the team's spring training site in West Palm Beach, Florida. "I had to go back and see the doctors, do MRIs and things like that. The tendon just isn't where we thought it was going to be. It's not healed yet.

"It was a tendon issue that we felt was going to resolve by now and I was going to be ready to roll."

McCullers, who set career highs in wins (13), ERA (3.16), strikeouts (185) and innings pitched (162⅓) last season, said the setback happened while throwing from 120 feet in late January or early February. He is not currently throwing and expects any rehab to take at least a few weeks. He told reporters that he has had a platelet rich plasma injection and stem cell treatments over the past two weeks.

The season begins April 7.

The pitcher, who did not pitch in the World Series or ALCS after leaving in Game 4 of the ALDS with forearm tightness, said doctors are "all pretty confident this will resolve itself" and surgery is not necessary "right now."

"We're not going to cross that bridge unless we absolutely have to," McCullers said.