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Detroit — Kyle Ryan sat in front of his locker stall Saturday morning with his upper torso wrapped and an electronic stimulation device sending a messaging current through his shoulder muscles and upper back.

Now we know why he hasn’t pitched since Sept. 15.

“Something flared up,” he said. “They kept saying there was a rib out of place and they popped it back in. It’s really sore. They’ve had to pop it in a couple of times.”

The troublesome rib is in his left upper back, near the scapula bone, which forms the back of the shoulder. He saw a chiropractor earlier this week in Minneapolis and had it put back in place again.

“It happened against Minnesota the last time I pitched,” Ryan said. “I haven’t pitched since.”

He has thrown and done his side work, but there is no timetable for him to pitch in a game. He has not been shut down for the season.

“I found out about it in Minnesota (this week),” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He said he felt OK the other day. He said he could pitch. But we’re not going to throw him into a tight game with that going on.”

Blaine Hardy has assumed Ryan’s role as both a long reliever and early left-hander out of the bullpen.

Twitter @cmccosky

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