Houston Astros right-hander Zack Greinke was scratched from his scheduled start Friday night against the Oakland A's and placed on the 10-day injured list with neck soreness.
Greinke said his neck pain began Wednesday and he doesn't know when he might return, according to Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle.
Zack Greinke said his neck pain started Wednesday. He doesn’t know when he might be able to return, but interestingly said that when he does he might have to reduce his expectations as far as how many innings he can throw per start.— Danielle Lerner (@danielle_lerner) September 24, 2021
Greinke's last start came Sept. 17, when he allowed five runs in four innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He spent 10 days on the COVID-19 injured list earlier this month and had made two starts since returning.
The 37-year-old is 0-2 with a 12.46 ERA in his last three starts. He told reporters Friday that everything has been a mess since he contracted COVID-19.
"It's been kind of a mess since all that," Greinke said, according to MLB.com. "The important thing now is the season for me is closer to over. Just trying to get ready for the playoffs and hopefully help the team out there as much as possible."
Because he hasn't pitched much over the last month, Greinke's spot in the Astros' postseason rotation is up in the air. He said he hopes to be valuable in whatever fashion manager Dusty Baker plans to use him.
"Whatever they ask of me will be the goal," Greinke said. "I'll do whatever I can to be ready to do that. Our team's good. We'll do our best to go as far as we can. That's the goal, do everything that I can and hopefully win games."
Greinke is in his second full season with the Astros after coming over in a trade from the Diamondbacks in 2019. He is 11-6 this season with a 4.11 ERA, 1.174 WHIP and 117 strikeouts in 168.2 innings across 29 starts.
The former Cy Young winner will be a free agent after the 2021 campaign and it's unlikely the Astros have plans to re-sign him. However, Greinke said he "definitely" wants to play next year and acknowledged that returning to Houston is a possibility.