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Frankie Montas placed on 60-day disabled list

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PHOENIX -- The Dodgers on Sunday placed pitcher Frankie Montas on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from surgery on Feb. 12 to remove his right first rib. The move was to create space on the 40-man roster for new Cuban free agent pitcher Yaisel Sierra, but the DL move officially puts Montas' recovery time near the upper end of his initial diagnosis of missing two to four months.

The clock for the 60-day disabled list starts on the first day of the season, which is technically Sunday, April 3. That means the earliest Montas could be activated is June 2, just 10 days shy of four months after his surgery.

Montas felt pain in his back during offseason workouts. After muscle relaxers prescribed by his doctor didn't work, Montas had an MRI in the Dominican Republic that showed a stress fracture in his first right rib.

"One day I played catch and the next day I woke up and my back was feeling really bad," Montas said.

President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on Friday the injury was less severe than in 2013 when Josh Beckett also had a rib removed but due to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

"[Montas] said he felt it when he was working out this winter and didn’t think much of it. He kept working out expecting it to go away but it just kept nagging at him," Friedman said Friday. "Finally in January he brought it to our trainers in the Dominican. We had him checked out and it took awhile to figure out the treatment for it."

The move also means at least 60 days of a major league salary for Montas, who if he was being stretched out as a starter as planned was surely ticketed for the minors at least to start the season. Montas will likely earn something near the major league minimum salary of $507,500 in 2016, which means his stint on the DL will earn him at least $166,393, plus the accrual of 60 days of major league service time.

"It's starting to feel much better. I'll keep working on my body, trying to keep in shape," Montas said Sunday. "I'm doing some shoulder stuff so when I get back my arm will be in shape."