Tucson, AZ (Sports Network) - The Chicago White Sox will be without ace Mark Buehrle for four-to-six weeks, after the lefthander sustained a hairline fracture in his left foot, while shagging fly balls at the team's spring training complex on Sunday.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Buehrle was to undergo a series of tests Monday on the fourth metatarsal bone. The paper also stated that Buehrle reported to team officials that the pain had subsided and that he regained some of his range of motion.
The 25-year-old Buehrle was 16-10 last season with a 3.89 earned run average in 35 starts. He closed the season by winning five of his last seven starts.
Last season, he led the American League in innings pitched with 245 1/3. Over the last four seasons he is second in the majors in innings pitched.
Buehrle, who tossed six perfect innings in his last Cactus League start, has amassed 65 victories over the last four seasons, which is seventh most in the AL over that time frame.
He posted a career-best 19 wins in 2002, which followed up a 16-8 campaign that also produced the lowest ERA of his career, 3.28.
Buehrle's injury will most likely open a spot in the rotation for 21-year-old phenom Brandon McCarthy, who has been the star of White Sox camp.
McCarthy made his fourth start of the spring on Sunday and allowed one run on two hits over five innings. He also fanned five batters without issuing a walk. The run was the only one allowed by McCarthy in 15 1/3 innings.
"I don't know what to think about it," McCarthy told the paper. "To be honest, it's not how you'd like to get your opportunity. I guess you'd like to get an opportunity but to hear a good guy like that go down, it makes it bittersweet. But if I got to be the guy who has to fill in, I'm ready to do that."
Last season, McCarthy struck out 202 batters, but has yet to pitch above the Double-A level.
Buehrle, who had pitched the last three White Sox Opening Day contests, is not the only member of the Pale Hose who will be sidelined at the start of the season with a broken foot. Designated hitter Frank Thomas is also recovering from a broken left foot.