- Associated Press - Thursday, September 22, 2011

OAKLAND, CALIF. (AP) - Texas Rangers reliever Mark Lowe’s status for the playoffs was in doubt after he received an injection Thursday to treat his strained left hamstring.

General manager Jon Daniels said in Oakland that tests Thursday revealed that Lowe has a Grade 2 strain. After returning to Arlington to be examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister, Lowe received a shot of platelet rich plasma in an effort to speed up healing.

Daniels said there is no timetable for when Lowe might be available. The reigning AL champion Rangers had a magic number of three to clinch their second straight AL West crown before the Angels played at Toronto.

“Obviously it’s more significant than just a Grade 1,” Daniels said in the clubhouse after a 4-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics. “Let’s wait and see how he does. Some guys heal quicker than others. A short reliever is different than an every day player as far as the stress that’s involved. It definitely puts his availability in doubt but we’re not premature to say. He just got the injection today, let’s see how he responds to it and we’ll go from there.”

Lowe hurt his hamstring running sprints during his normal warmup routine before Wednesday night’s 3-2 win over the A’s. The right-hander is 2-3 with one save and a 3.80 ERA in 52 appearances for the reigning AL champion and AL West-leading Rangers, whose magic number was down to three to clinch the division. He has retired his five batters over two outings.

“He’s never had a hamstring before so it’s kind of a freak deal,” Daniels said.

Righty reliever Michael Gonzalez also flew home Thursday because of an illness. The team didn’t consider his bug to be anything serious. Gonzalez is 2-2 with one save and a 4.38 ERA in 54 outings.

Also Thursday, catcher Yorvit Torrealba left the game in the eighth inning after being hit in the head on a foul tip and experiencing nausea. A doctor examined Torrealba and said he didn’t sustain a concussion, team spokesman John Blake said.

“He said he’s had this type of deal before and he’s not too concerned about it,” Daniels said. “But obviously we’ll treat him with caution.”