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Fifth Starter Hopeful McClellan Scratched From Sunday Start

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SURPRISE, Ariz. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Another rotation contender bit the dust today.

Texas Rangers right-hander Kyle McClellan could miss the first month of the season because of a strained lat muscle. McClellan was in competition for the 5th spot in the Rangers rotation.

The Rangers scratched McClellan from his start Sunday against Seattle with the injury. Texas says in a release Saturday that McClellan should need three to four weeks of recovery before beginning a throwing program. Opening day is March 31.

His injury comes after the Rangers already suffered an injury to fifth spot hopeful Martin Perez. Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis remain sidelined until some point during the season.

McClellan, who had spent his entire professional career in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, signed a minor league contract with the Rangers on Jan. 15 and was a non-roster invitee to spring training. After winning 12 games for the Cardinals in 2011, he was limited to 16 relief appearances and 18 2-3 innings last year because of shoulder and elbow injuries and did not pitch after May 17.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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