Tampa Bay Rays lose pitcher until May

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Jeremy Hellickson will miss up to eight weeks of the new MLB season after having surgery on his right arm, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

The Tampa Bay Rays pitcher has had to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow and is set to be out for six to eight weeks.

Hellickson told the daily that he only felt slight discomfort when he started throwing in December but felt it lock up after a bullpen session on January 19.

"Everything was going good,'' Hellickson told the Tampa Bay Times. "I think right at beginning of my throwing program I felt just a little discomfort but nothing too bad so I just kept throwing. It'd feel good for a week and then it would go back to feeling irritated and not comfortable.

"Then I just kind of wanted to wait until I got on the mound to see how it felt. I threw my first bullpen and it felt good, then I got on the mound three days later and I couldn't even really straighten out my arm, it was kind of locked up.

"I threw about 10-15 pitches that bullpen, and came away with it just didn't feel good at all, not comfortable."

The 26-year-old had loose bodies removed from his elbow by Dr. Koco Eaton and is considered a minor procedure. 

Hellickson had a rough ride through the 2013 season with a 12-10, 5.17 record with team officials stating that they didn't think anything was wrong and he was just pitching poorly.

Hellickson only recently settled his arbitration case for $3.65-million.

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