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Tigers' Shane Greene exits start early with mild ulnar neuritis

The Tigers' starter left just 74 pitches into his start after experiencing numbness in his fingers.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Shane Greene's pitch count was not particularly high but he was pulled from the game after the fifth inning. Not long after the Detroit Tigers announced the right-handed starter had left the game with mild ulnar neuritis. He will be reevaluated on Saturday, according to the team.

Unlar neuritis is inflammation of the ulnar nerve at the point of the elbow, also known as the funny bone. In some instances, the nerve can become pinched and result in "numbness or weakness in the hand." It can also result in that tingly feeling in your fingers.

While he kept the St. Louis Cardinals off the board during that time, his outing was not without constant traffic. Every inning featured at least one baserunner, he hit two batters, and faced a bases-loaded situation in the second inning.

Greene, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2008, had a pitch count of 74 after five innings Friday night. The Tigers were forced to go to their bullpen early and the bullpen coughed up four runs after Greene departed. They were, however, saved by the Tigers offense.

During a postgame interview with Fox Sports Detroit, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus provided an update regarding Greene.

"It's a nerve thing," Ausmus said. "Two of his fingers on his throwing hand, the pinky and ring finger, were just getting kind of numb. There was no pain. He told me that when he had surgery that ulnar nerve was moved. It's possible on one of the swings he just aggravated it.  We don't think it's anything long term or overly concerning. But we took him out mainly out of precaution. He said he didn't have any pain at all."

Greene said the last time his hand felt like that was the first few bullpen sessions he threw after the Tommy John surgery. He told FSD he felt it while throwing to the second-to-last batter he faced.

"There's no pain, just a little bit of tingling in my fingers," Greene said. "I've had the surgery before, so I know that's kin of a red flag. That's why I said something. When I had the surgery they moved the nerve, so it's not even int he elbow any more. So we'll see.

"I'm a little scared but there's no pain. So I'm just going to keep telling myself there's no pain, everything's going to be all right."

Greene added his gut feeling is that he'll be back on the mound in five days.