KANSAS CITY -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy doesn't seem to be concerned, even though he's experiencing a setback in his first season after Tommy John surgery.
Duffy was scratched from Tuesday's start against the Indians with a mild flexor strain in his pitching arm. Duffy, who has made five starts since coming back from Tommy John surgery on June 13, 2012, felt some forearm fatigue and tightness after his last outing nine days ago against Detroit, when he worked 4 1/3 innings.
"When Duff threw his last start here, not even the first day, but the second day after his start, he started feeling some mild tightness in his forearm," manager Ned Yost said. "We shut him down from the Detroit start as a precaution and it was starting to feel better. He threw a side and felt good, but at the end of the side, he tried to crank up on it and still felt that mild tightness. We went and got an MRI and it is a very minor flexor strain. We are going to use the utmost caution with him right now coming off Tommy John surgery."
Duffy is 2-0 with a 1.85 ERA.
"It's expected to have setbacks, I'm actually surprised at how good I've felt this whole year without any setbacks," Duffy said. "It's frustrating at this point because we're in the [playoff] chase, but I can definitely have some appreciation for their protection of me."
Duffy said it was a relief to have head athletic trainer Nick Kenney say it wasn't something more serious.
"It was pretty cool to see Nick come back into the room with a smile on his face, because that is not a good feeling to go into the MRI," Duffy said. "We're all good and I'm going to do whatever I can to help this team, however that may be for the rest of the season."
Duffy will undergo treatment and wait for the swelling to go down before throwing again.
"Ned came up to me and told me I'm not shut down, but we are going to take it easy," Duffy said. "When we skipped my start, it was for matchup concerns. I'd faced the Tigers three of my five starts, but then I went up to Nick after my last side and I was a little more tired than I was. I had been feeling like Superman after ever start, bouncing back was really easy for me."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.