Darvish officially cleared to start Sunday

Darvish officially cleared to start Sunday

WASHINGTON -- Yu Darvish threw approximately 20 pitches in the bullpen on Friday and is officially ready to go on Sunday against the Nationals. Darvish was scratched from his last start on Tuesday against the Twins because of neck stiffness, but that has cleared up completely.

"He looked really good," pitching coach Mike Maddux said.

"I felt as good as the bullpen session that I had in Detroit [before the stiffness]. I had no discomfort whatsoever," Darvish said through a translator. "It is what it is, that something like this would happen. What I have to do is take better care of it and there's more information on how to treat this kind of pain, so if something like this happens, I will get the best treatment as I can."

Manager Ron Washington said he is not concerned about how long Darvish will be able to pitch on Sunday. But Darvish is the only Rangers starter to have pitched at least seven innings in a start this month. He has done it three times. No other starter has gone at least seven innings since Martin Perez's shutout against Oakland on April 23.

"When Yu Darvish takes the mound, I believe he will be out there for a long time," Washington said. "He's not going to take the mound if he feels there is an issue."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.