MILWAUKEE (AP) All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy will miss four to six weeks of spring training for the Milwaukee Brewers because of a strained right hamstring.
The injury is near the top of Lucroy's hamstring, close to the hip. Assistant general manager Gord Ash said Wednesday that area had given Lucroy a little trouble at the end of last season.
Lucroy said in a phone interview that the hamstring started bothering him when he pulled up quickly while running hard into third base during a game in August.
He said he has been diagnosed with a partially torn tendon, though ''it sounded worse'' than it actually felt.
Lucroy was fine when he was examined on Jan. 26 in Milwaukee at the time of the team's winter fan outreach event. The catcher said he aggravated the injury while sprinting recently in preparation for spring training.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report next week to the team's spring training facility in Arizona. Ash is hopeful Lucroy will be ready for the April 6 opener against Colorado.
''One thing we wanted to make clear here, he can still throw, he can still hit,'' Ash said. Lucroy will also get more work on the practice field at first base, as the Brewers had planned, though he may not get game experience in the spring.
Lucroy said that the plan is to not run, though he was hopeful to get into games at some point during spring training. He also is planning to catch in practice, given that he is already doing so now.
The injury doesn't change the long-term plans to get the right-handed Lucroy as many as 30 games at first base, according to Ash. It's a way to keep Lucroy's bat in the lineup while limiting his workload behind the plate.
Lucroy wasn't concerned the injury could affect how much time he will spend behind the plate or at first this year, given he had already played with the injury last year,
Left-handed hitting Adam Lind, acquired in the offseason from Toronto for pitcher Marco Estrada, is expected to be the regular first baseman in Milwaukee.
Lucroy started 133 games at catcher last year, hit .301 with 13 homers and 69 RBIs, and finished fourth in voting for the NL MVP award. He was one of the few regulars in an otherwise free-swinging lineup who was able to consistently work counts.
The team said that Lucroy's agent told general manager Doug Melvin last weekend that the hamstring was bothering him. Lucroy was diagnosed with the injury by the team doctor on Monday. Another examination on Tuesday confirmed the extent of the injury.
Melvin is already in Arizona. Ash said his boss is optimistic and ''pleasantly surprised'' with the progress made by injured right-handed relievers Jim Henderson and Tyler Thornburg. Henderson (right shoulder) last pitched in a big league game on May 1 and Thornburg (right elbow) on June 6
''Given what we're seeing here, barring early setbacks, they're viable candidates,'' Ash said, ''which is very good news for us.''