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Astros' McCullers won't be ready for Opening Day due to elbow strain

Mike Carlson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Houston Astros won't have Lance McCullers Jr. in the rotation to start the 2023 campaign.

The right-hander said he will be shut down for a few weeks after an MRI revealed a "small muscle strain" in his pitching elbow, according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.

"Opening Day is out of the question," McCullers said Wednesday.

The former All-Star added that there's no structural damage or any issues with his ulnar collateral ligament.

McCullers only made eight regular-season starts last year due to a flexor tendon strain.

"I've been a little bit upset. I was really looking forward to a great start to the camp and great start to the season," the 29-year-old said, according to Brian McTaggart of "Any time this happens, it's very frustrating for me, for our team, the fan base."

McCullers owns a career 3.48 ERA with 10.0 K/9 over seven years with the Astros. He's helped Houston win two World Series titles.

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