Kansas City Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar likely will miss at least the first two months of the season because of a sprained ligament in his right elbow.
Hochevar, the first pick in the 2006 amateur draft, felt something unusual in the elbow during his next-to-last pitch Monday in a two-inning outing against the Chicago White Sox, according to manager Ned Yost.
The sprain was revealed in an MRI taken Tuesday.
Yost said Wednesday Hochevar won't throw for two-to-three weeks and "probably the best-case scenario" would be a return at the end of May or early June.
Hochevar was 5-2 with a 1.92 ERA and two saves in 58 relief appearances last year and was a candidate for the final rotation slot this season.
He is earning $5.21 million and is eligible for free agency after the season.