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Vicente Padilla to miss Sunday start because of recurring neck problem

September 11, 2010 |  4:07 pm

Padilla_300 Dodgers pitcher Vicente Padilla was scratched from his scheduled start against the Houston Astros on Sunday because of a neck problem that resurfaced.

The Dodgers said Carlos Monasterios would start in Padilla's place.

Padilla had made only one start, last Monday in San Diego, since coming off the disabled list for a bulging disk in his neck. The Nicaraguan had allowed three runs in four innings in that game. Padilla overall has a 6-5 record and 4.07 earned-run average for the season.

He threw a bullpen session two days ago and didn't have a problem, and "threw on flat ground yesterday, no problem," Dodgers trainer Stan Conte said before Saturday's game at Minute Maid Park.

"But it later started bothering him, and he told me about the fifth or sixth inning last night," Conte said. "Then today he came in a little worse. That's what these things do sometimes, they just kind of come back."

The neck problem is causing him "pain the middle of his shoulder blades on the left side," Conte added.

With only 20 games left in the regular season, Padilla -- who was the Dodgers' opening-day starter -- might be done for the year.

"It wouldn't surprise me," Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said. "For the foreseeable future I don’t see Padilla pitching."

--Jim Peltz, reporting from Houston

Photo: Vicente Padilla is his last start at San Diego. Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel / US Presswire