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Detroit – The Tigers are shutting down right-handed pitcher Michael Fulmer for at least two starts after a recurrence of ulnar neuritis in his right elbow and sending him to renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews for an evaluation.

There is a chance Fulmer could be shut down for the remainder of the season.

“It’s premature to say that,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He will miss two starts. He won’t return to the rotation until after he sees Dr. Andrews. Once we get his diagnosis, we will make a decision.”

Ausmus said Fulmer won’t be able to see Dr. Andrews for more than a week. Fulmer went on the disabled list after a start in New York on July 31 where he felt tingling and numbness in the fingers of his right hand.

He made four starts since, but went to the team’s medical staff after his last start in Denver and said the tingling sensation was lingering.

“It’s not any worse than it was,” Ausmus said. “It’s not that much different than the sensation he had previously.”

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But, if this is something that will require surgery to fix, the Tigers want to know now.

“We’re at a tipping point where, let’s get another opinion and if something has to be done, let’s get it done so he’s ready to go next season,” Ausmus said.

Left-hander Chad Bell will be recalled from Toledo and start in Fulmer’s spot on Sunday. The Tigers also recalled right-hander Artie Lewicki to start in place of the traded Justin Verlander on Monday.

Lewicki, 25, was 5-0 with a 2.03 ERA with the Mud Hens.

cmccosky@detroitnews.com

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