- Associated Press - Friday, September 23, 2011

ARLINGTON, TEXAS (AP) - The availability of Rangers reliever Mark Lowe for the playoffs is very much in doubt because of a partial tear in his left hamstring.

Lowe said he is disappointed but not giving up on the idea of pitching in the playoffs, especially if the AL West-leading Rangers advance past the first round and into the American League championship series or World Series.

“It’s awful timing,” Lowe said Friday. “It’s why you play all year to be able to pitch at the end of the season and the playoffs. I can’t say I’ll be ready for the first round. I’m definitely going to try. If I can’t I should be ready for the second round.”

Lowe had a 3.14 ERA over 49 games since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on May 4. He had gone to the minors after giving up four runs in 2 2-3 innings the first four games this season.

After getting hurt running sprints during warmups before Wednesday’s game in Oakland, Lowe returned to Texas early Thursday ahead of the team to be examined. Team physician Dr. Keith Meister determined that Lowe had a Grade 2 strain.

“He’s not day to day,” manager Ron Washington said before Friday’s game against Seattle. “He’s gone for a while. I don’t know how long, but he’s out for a while.”

Right-hander Michael Gonzalez also returned to Texas early because of illness, but Washington said the reliever was fine and worked out Friday with the rest of the team.