Britton says MRI results “better than we thought they were going to be”

BOSTON - Orioles closer Zach Britton avoided the disabled list following yesterday’s MRI on his left knee and he’s encouraged by the results, which didn’t reveal any structural damage.

“It was good news,” he said. “I think everything we thought it was going to be. Obviously, since the issue started in 2014, we never had an image on it and it was something that was probably a long time coming. I was just putting it off because it wasn’t something that was affecting me pitching. But we had the off-day yesterday, so it was kind of perfect timing just to go get it done and get it over with.

“The results were good and it’s not something that should hinder me from pitching, like it hasn’t the past few years.”

zach-britton-black-side.pngBritton doesn’t anticipate needing a procedure after the season to explore or clean out the knee.

“No. Actually, the results were probably better than we thought they were going to be going into it, so there’s nothing that needs to be done from a cleanup standpoint or anything. Absolutely not,” he said.

“So, structurally, it’s actually in really good shape. Just a little bit of something maybe based on how I throw just irritates it throughout the course of a season, you know? And 2014 was the first year I went to the bullpen, so maybe as a starter with the four days off it wasn’t something that was an issue. There’s a lot of different things that could make it happen, but it isn’t anything serious, which is good.”

Britton blew his first save attempt Wednesday after 60 successful conversions in a row, an American League record. He’s worked only 1 2/3 innings since Aug. 16 and four innings over seven appearances since Aug. 5, but he said it should be business as usual moving forward.

“Talking with (head athletic trainer) Richie Bancells, it shouldn’t be anything that we treat differently than we have the last few years,” Britton said. “Obviously, just like in ‘14 and ‘15, if it became an issue as I was pitching, then we would maybe do something different, but until then we’ll just treat it like we have.

“Like I said, the MRI was planned, it was going to happen at the end of the season, but with the off-day yesterday I felt like I may as well just get it over with. That way, if anything, kind of peace of mind that it isn’t anything that I’m going to damage myself by continuing to pitch on it.”

Meanwhile, the Orioles placed Single-A pitcher Cody Sedlock, last year’s first-round pick out of the University of Illinois, on the disabled list again with a strained right forearm. He’s likely shut down with the Carolina League season drawing to a close.

“As far as I know, it’s been diagnosed as tightness in his forearm, so it sounds like it’s a muscle strain,” said executive vice president Dan Duquette.

Sedlock is 4-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 20 starts and opponents are batting .313 against him.

Sedlock went on the disabled list July 1 with a right elbow flexor strain.

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