Andrew McCutchen could miss up to a month of action with a serious oblique injury, a source tells Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are expected to place the 2013 National League MVP on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. An initial timetable for recovery was placed at three-to-four weeks, according to the report.
McCutchen suffered the injury in the eighth inning of Sunday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks after reaching over the outer half of the plate to make contact with a curveball offering from Brad Ziegler. The 27-year-old was removed from the contest after grabbing his left side following the at-bat.
It's unclear what effect, if any, the events of Saturday night had on McCutchen's injury.
The Pirates center fielder was plunked in the back by Diamondbacks reliever Randall Delgado in the ninth inning in what appeared to be an act of retaliation after Paul Goldschmidt was beaned the night before. Goldschmidt suffered a broken left hand and is likely done for the season.
Losing McCutchen for a month would be a major blow to a Pirates team sitting just 1 1/2 games back of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.
McCutchen is in the midst of another MVP-caliber season, pacing NL outfielders with a .411 on-base percentage and 13.9 percent walk rate. He posted 17 homers, 17 steals and .536 slugging rate through 109 games this season.
Since entering the league in 2009, the Pirates are 11-14 without McCutchen in the lineup. Starling Marte, currently on the seven-day concussion disabled list, will likely replace McCutchen in center field. The Pirates left fielder is expected to return to the club Tuesday at home against Miami.