Blackburn has bone chips removed from elbow

Blackburn has bone chips removed from elbow

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Nick Blackburn had bone chips removed from his right elbow late last week but is expected to be ready in time for Spring Training, the Twins announced Monday.

Blackburn, 30, struggled in 2012, posting a 7.39 ERA in 19 starts. The sinkerballer also struck out 42 and walked 26 in 98 2/3 innings.

He was eventually outrighted off the 40-man roster on Aug. 20 and sent to Triple-A Rochester, where he finished the season.

Blackburn is owed $5.5 million next season in the final year of a four-year, $14 million deal signed before the 2010 season. The Twins also hold an $8 million option for 2014.

Blackburn has a career 4.85 ERA in 818 2/3 innings over six years with the Twins. He's struggled over the last three years, logging a 5.56 ERA after posting a combined 4.04 ERA over the previous two seasons.