ST. PETERSBURG -- The rest of the season is now up in the air for right-hander Jeff Niemann after the Rays training staff diagnosed him with slight inflammation in his right rotator cuff.
"I'm hoping, man," Niemann said of the possibility that he'll pitch again this season. "I'm still staying positive. Things are all right. We'll just take a few days and see how I respond, come back and see what's up."
Niemann was making his first start in more than three months on Saturday when the injury occurred. He had previously missed time due to a broken right lower leg.
"It's definitely frustrating to do as much as we've done and have gone through as much as we've gone through already this season, to have something like this happen at a very inopportune time for the team," Niemann said. "It's not fun. We're just going to take it day by day and see where it goes."
While rehabbing his leg injury, Niemann tried to retain strength in his throwing arm. He made four rehab starts in the Minor Leagues before being recalled and lasting just 3 1/3 innings against the Blue Jays.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said that Niemann will be out indefinitely. The right-hander is still waiting to see if an MRI exam will be needed, but he expects to undergo an exam soon.
"It's frustrating; it's just part of the game, I guess," Niemann said. "We've been through a lot. I'm not letting anything slow me down. If anything, a speed bump -- get over it and get back out there."