Joel Zumaya suffers major elbow injury

Detroit Tigers' flame-throwing reliever Joel Zumaya left last night's game against the Minnesota Twins with what appeared to be a serious right elbow injury.

Zumaya collapsed to the ground after delivering an eight-inning pitch and was in obvious pain as the training staff attended to him.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said that his pitcher will have an MRI on the elbow this morning. Catcher Gerald Laird said he heard "just like a little pop" before Zumaya crumpled.

Zumaya has missed major portions of the past two seasons with shoulder problems and the season before with a middle finger strain. One of baseball's hardest-throwers, he's maintained a 2.58 ERA in 38 1/3 innings of work this year.

Leyland, while unaware of the exact nature of the injury, painted a grim picture.

"Every pitcher that ever pitched is one pitch away from throwing his last one," Leyland said, "and certainly I don't want to paint a bad picture here because I'm not saying that's the case here at all. But that's just the way it is."


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