Justin Masterson tests strained oblique by playing catch

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Justin Masterson hasn’t pitched since September 2 due to a strained left oblique. While this type of injury often costs players a month or more, he hopes to be the exception as the Indians attempt to close ground for a Wild Card spot.

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Masterson tested his oblique earlier today by playing catch from a distance of 90 feet. He’ll try it again tomorrow before the next step is decided.

“I still don’t know what the exact timetable is,” said Masterson, “but we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve got a baseball in our hand.”

Masterson, 28, is 14-10 with a 3.52 ERA and 188/75 K/BB ratio in 189 1/3 innings over 29 starts this season. The Indians will have to hope that they are still alive by the time he makes it back.