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March 03, 2013

Rangers lose Martin Perez to broken arm

The Rangers lost the front-runner to be their No. 5 starter Sunday when left-hander Martin Perez suffered a fractured left forearm after being struck by a line drive in a Cactus League game against Seattle.

He could be out eight to 10 weeks.

Perez was taken to an area hospital for X-rays, which showed a fracture of the left ulna. He won't be able to begin a throwing program for four weeks, and would likely need four to six more weeks to build arm strength and get up to game speed.

The Rangers' medical staff believes that he should be able to maintain a shoulder strengthening program and cardio program to possibly help speed up his rehabilitation.

But the injury to their top pitching prospect is a blow to the Rangers' rotation plans. Perez hadn't won the No. 5 spot in the rotation, but he was the front-runner. Lefty Robbie Ross and right-handers Randy Wells, Justin Grimm and Kyle McClellan are the remaining internal candidates, though righty Nick Tepesch could get an extended look after his strong start to the spring.

The Rangers could also look outside the organization for a starter, with Kyle Lohse the best available arm. Lohse would likely fit in as a No. 3 starter, which would push Derek Holland to fourth and Alexi Ogando to fifth.

As of Saturday afternoon, said general manager Jon Daniels, the Rangers had no on-going talks involving a starting pitcher.

-- Jeff Wilson

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