SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -Rangers starter Brandon McCarthy likely will start the season on the disabled list because of inflammation in his forearm.
While an initial MRI showed no ligament damage, McCarthy is expected to be sidelined 4-6 weeks because of the problem that has bothered him throughout spring training and cut short his only appearance. The 6-foot-7 right-hander apparently won't need surgery.
Rookie right-hander Luis Mendoza could replace McCarthy in the rotation. Mendoza, who was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three September starts and three relief appearances for the Rangers, as to start Thursday's spring training game against Colorado.
Another option could be 31-year-old right-hander Sidney Ponson, who agreed to a minor league contract Sunday and was in camp for the first time Monday. Ponson last pitched in the major leagues May 12 for Minnesota before being released. Since winning a combined 17 games for Baltimore and San Francisco in 2003, Ponson is 24-36 with a 5.86 ERA.
McCarthy threw only one inning after Jason Jennings in Friday's game against Milwaukee. McCarthy finished his inning, though he felt more pain in the muscle near his elbow after throwing a curveball.
``We thought he was healthy and all of a sudden, he felt it again,'' manager Ron Washington said.
Texas had already scratched McCarthy from two spring training starts.
``This is definitely something that is kind of depressing,'' McCarthy said. ``I felt like I put in the work to come in healthy and only have to worry about pitching, and not have to worry about how everything felt. To be going through this again is definitely tough.''
McCarthy had two stints on the disabled list in his first season last year for Texas. He was on the DL for three weeks in June because of a blister on his finger, and nearly a month later in the season because of a stress fracture in his shoulder blade.
McCarthy was 5-10 with a 4.87 ERA in 23 games last season. He came to the Rangers in the December 2006 trade that sent first-round pick John Danks to the Chicago White Sox.

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