Yu Darvish threw his first bullpen session on Sunday, the day pitchers and catchers reported to Texas Rangers spring training in Surprise, Ariz.
Afterward, according to several reports, he spoke to a group of assembled Japanese media and revealed he had been dealing with a hip injury over the offseason. However, he said he quit lifting heavy weights and his hip ailment improved.
Darvish dealt with nerve inflammation down the stretch last season, linked to his sciatic nerve, which caused numbness and pain in his legs — never a good thing for a pitcher. Late in the season, he struggled with his innings and at times didn't pitch as late into games as he was accustomed.
Even with the reports, Darvish is the surest thing on the Rangers' pitching staff after finishing second in the AL Cy Young race last year when he was the MLB leader with 277 strikeouts and posted a 2.83 ERA. He lost out on the Cy Young to MLB wins leader Max Scherzer.