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Brewers P Woodruff will miss wild-card series vs. D-Backs with shoulder injury

Brandon Woodruff Milwaukee Brewers Brandon Woodruff - The Canadian Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff will miss this week's Wild Card Series against Arizona because of a right shoulder injury.

“Frankly, his availability for the postseason is up in the air at this point,” manager Craig Counsell said Monday, a day before the opener of the best-of-three series against the Diamondbacks.

Woodruff is dealing with what Counsell described as a capsular injury. He had been expected to start Game 2 for the NL Central champions, following Corbin Burnes.

Woodruff is seeking a second opinion and likely won't have the results until the end of the week.

Woodruff, a 30-year-old right-hander, was 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 11 starts. He last pitched on Sept. 23 in Miami, giving up four runs and six hits in five innings.

Woodruff made two starts in April, then was sidelined until Aug. 6 with a sub-scapular strain. He began to feel an issue during a Sept. 23 outing at the Marlins.

“Thinking back on it now, I had no issues until probably Miami," Woodruff said. "I could tell something a little bit maybe, the first couple innings but it wasn’t anything alarming to me. There was velocity drop but then it came back. I didn’t get to the point where I thought anything was going on. I just thought it was normal stuff.”

During a recent a batting practice session, Woodruff said "the ball was coming out great, but I didn’t feel that great.”

While playing catch on Sunday he said he realized he was having similar feelings to the time he first got hurt.

“I spoke up immediately," Woodruff said.

Woodruff broke down when talking about the possibility that he won't pitch this postseason.

“It sucks, man. We got a good clubhouse and I want to be a part of that," he said with his head bowed. "Sitting here now, I may not. That’s the hard part. But we got a good group and I think we’ll be fine.”

Milwaukee will be missing a key pitcher for a third straight postseason series.

Corbin Burnes wasn’t available due to an oblique strain as the Brewers got swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Reliever Devin Williams couldn’t pitch in Milwaukee’s 2021 Division Series loss to Atlanta after he fractured a hand while punching a wall after the Brewers’ NL Central title-clinching celebration.

Outfielder Christian Yelich said the team will have to overcome adversity to win the series with the Diamondbacks.

“Woody’s a big part of what we do," Yelich said. "At this time of year, it’s about being resilient. We still have a very talented team. It’s about staying together and staying connected.”