When Royals pitcher Nathan Karns left a start early on May 19 in Minnesota, he did not expect to miss more than a month. He felt discomfort in the top of his forearm, yet there was no structural damage. He went on the 10-day disabled list and expected to miss a start or two.
One month later, Karns will begin his rehab process anew on Wednesday, restarting his throwing program after nagging arm issues slowed him. After being shut down in San Diego on the last road trip, Karns flew to New York last week to see a doctor. The tests came back positive and Karns received treatment, he said.
The crux of the problem, Karns said, has been lingering discomfort on the top of his forearm. The issue did not allow him to properly finish off his pitches during side sessions, leading to the possibility of erratic command. The Royals have opted to exercise caution, waiting for the tightness to dissipate before moving onto the next phase of rehab.
“No one was really banking on it taking this long,” Karns said. “But the good thing is there’s no surgery, no major injury. The only negative is the time it took to kind of bounce back.”
With Karns and left-hander Danny Duffy on the disabled list, the Royals have inserted Jakob Junis and Matt Strahm into the starting rotation. Duffy is expected to return at some point in July. For now, Karns’ timetable remains a little more murky.
“We’re now supposed to be starting back up fresh tomorrow,” he said. “And in my opinion, I don’t think we’re going to have any problems moving forward. We got all the answers we needed to know.”