PHOENIX - Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton will be out for six to eight weeks with a sprained left elbow.
Eaton had been bothered with a sore elbow for a couple of weeks when the Diamondbacks finally gave him the day off on Friday.
An MRI revealed a small tear in the fibers around the ulnar collateral ligament.
Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers expected Eaton to be the team's leadoff hitter and starting center fielder, but will be shut down for four weeks. The best-case scenario for his return would be in six weeks, but he could be out as long as two months.
"I'm sitting here today saying it's not going to take me that long," Eaton said. "I'm going to do at all costs to get back quicker. I put all my faith in the doctors but at the same time for me there's an aspect where I want to try to get back a little sooner and try to push things a little bit. We'll be smart with it, of course, we're not going to do anything stupid with it. But I'm definitely going to try to do a speedy recovery for sure."
Now the Diamondbacks are thin in the outfield with Cody ross unlikely to be ready for opening day with a calf strain. Jason Kubel will likely start in left, A.J. Pollock in center and Gerardo Parra in right.
Eaton tweeted out , "You know that I will work my butt off to get back in there," he wrote. "It will be sooner than later."
Eaton said that he visited team doctor Michael Lee 1½ weeks ago and, when his discomfort persisted, he underwent an MRI as a precaution, only to discover the problem was worse than he expected.