Justin Duchscherer to undergo minor back procedure

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The injury-related problems continue for veteran right-hander Justin Duchscherer.

According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Duchscherer will undergo an ablation procedure on his lower back Sunday and won’t be able to pick up a baseball for the next four or five days.

It’s a minor surgery designed to heat up never endings and drive away pain. Duchscherer has undergone it before and recovered fine.

Duchscherer was placed on the 15-day disabled list at the start of the season and isn’t expected to make his debut for the Orioles until late April or early May. He’s been highly effective throughout his career when healthy, both as a starter and reliever, but injuries have limited him to just 28 major league innings since 2008.

The O’s will have to hope that the ablation does the trick on whatever is still ailing the 33-year-old.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.