New York Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco is expected to miss three to four weeks after suffering a low-grade left oblique strain.
The right-hander was forced to leave Monday's start against the Atlanta Braves after two innings, allowing three runs on four hits before exiting. His start was interrupted by a long rain delay in the second inning.
"It just got tight a little bit and I don't want to push more," Carrasco told reporters after the game.
In 23 starts this season, Carrasco is 13-5 with a 3.92 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
It's been a bounce-back season for the 35-year-old, who had a 6.04 ERA across 12 starts in his first year with the Mets. New York acquired him in the 2021 trade with Cleveland that landed Francisco Lindor, although injuries have been a major story for the veteran pitcher.
Carrasco's 126.1 innings pitched in 2022 are his most since 2018, although the latest issue will keep him out into September.
It could represent a significant loss for the Mets as they try to secure their first playoff appearance since 2016. They entered Tuesday with a 4.5-game lead over the Braves in the NL East with three more games against their division rival this week.
The Mets have depth in the rotation, which is led by Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. David Peterson would be a logical replacement for Carrasco with his 3.30 ERA in 18 appearances this season (14 starts), although he was optioned to Triple-A earlier this month.
Trevor Williams has also made eight starts this season and could fill in again if needed.