Royals reliever Hochevar sidelined with elbow injury

Wed Mar 5, 2014 1:54pm EST
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(Reuters) - Royals reliever Luke Hochevar has been shut down due to a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow and could miss the first two months of the Major League Baseball season, the Kansas City Star reported on Wednesday.

Hochevar, a converted starting pitcher, emerged as one of the best set-up relievers last season, posting a 1.92 earned run average over 70-1/3 innings, allowing 41 hits and striking out 82 batters.

The 30-year-old Hochevar will rest for two to three weeks before beginning a recovery program.

Royals manager Ned Yost was quoted in the report as saying that a return for the right-hander by the end of May was the "best-case scenario."

The Royals open the MLB season on March 31.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)

Kansas City Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto July 5, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Cassese