OAKLAND, Calif. — Right-hander Colby Lewis saw his medical rehabilitation assignment cut short Monday after he was diagnosed with a mild case of triceps tendinitis that will delay his return to the Texas Rangers’ rotation.Lewis was in Arlington to see Dr. Keith Meister, who prescribed a shot of anti-inflammatory medication after Lewis felt some soreness over the weekend and didn’t throw his normal between-starts bullpen session.The Rangers aren’t terribly concerned about Lewis, who is recovering from a torn flexor tendon in July.“It’s spring training stuff,” manager Ron Washington said. “We’ve got time. We’ll be careful and be cautious.”He had made one start on his rehab assignment, allowing three runs in two innings Thursday for Triple A Round Rock, and was scheduled to start again Tuesday.Lewis must be inactive for seven days, per major league rules, but the Rangers are hopeful that he can pitch in a game early next week for Double A Frisco. They are planning for him to throw a bullpen session late this week at Rangers Ballpark after the team returns from its four-city, nine-game road trip.“We just have to let this issue run its course,” Washington said.Going longThe day after an outing is hardly the time to expect a starting pitcher to be trying to throw a baseball as far as he can, but that’s the tact Derek Holland is taking this season after abandoning the routine after turning pro.He and right-hander Derek Lowe were playing long-toss up to 280 feet May 4 after Holland had defeated Boston less than 24 hours earlier. The Rangers were off Thursday after Holland’s start Wednesday at Milwaukee, but he aired it out Friday at Minute Maid Park.Holland and Matt Harrison played long-toss previously, but not at the distance he is throwing with Lowe. Holland has bought back in, and he has seen the benefits as he enters his eighth start of the season tonight at O.co Coliseum.“It strengthens your arm and keeps you in the game longer and gets your velocity up a little bit,” Holland said. “I used to do it in college. I just wanted to get back into my old ways and do that.”The soreness from the previous night usually goes away quickly.“It’s a flush, so I’m getting it out,” Holland said. “You’re getting stronger.”Murphy back at itAs bruises go, the one currently residing on David Murphy’s lower back is about the size of a Volkswagen. It’s mostly TCU purple, too, which doesn’t thrill the former Baylor star.But the pain he was feeling after crashing into the left-field wall Saturday at Minute Maid Park had subsided enough for him to again be in the Rangers’ starting lineup to open a three-game series at Oakland.Murphy started Sunday, too, but he was feeling so uncomfortable that a couple times he asked himself if he was making a mistake by playing. He ended up homering and playing all nine innings.“It was hard to put my socks on and tie my shoes,” Murphy said. “I have a little bit more range of motion. It’s a bad spot for anything, whether you’re playing baseball or just in everyday life.”Briefly• Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, on the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle, played catch and hit off a tee for a second straight day.• Right-hander Kyle McClellan, signed in the off-season to a minor league deal, pitched one inning in an extended spring game for the first time since suffering a strained right lat muscle late in spring training.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson