Blackburn could miss his next start

Blackburn could miss his next start

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins are playing the waiting game before determining whether right-hander Nick Blackburn will make his next scheduled start on Thursday.

Blackburn left his Saturday start against the Royals after five innings because of back tightness.

"He's a little stiff, which we expected," Twins trainer Dave Pruemer said. "We'll get a lot of treatment on him. Hopefully, he'll be able to make his next start."

If Blackburn can't go, manager Ron Gardenhire can slide right-hander Anthony Swarzak into Blackburn's slot on Thursday. Swarzak had been targeted for bullpen duty after starting against the Royals on Friday.

"If [Blackburn] is still feeling really stiff tomorrow or the next day, we might skip a start with him and just put Swarzak right in there," Gardenhire said.