"I'm doing the treatments and I feel better," Alvarez said. "I think I'm going to wait two weeks or something like that and try to come back in the series against Arizona. That's the most probable time. After that, I don't know. I'll just do my treatment, support the team and continue my routine."
Alvarez first experienced discomfort when he pitched in Atlanta on July 24, although he wasn't pitching like it -- he threw eight innings and gave up only two runs on six hits.
But the soreness lingered in his next start against the Nationals on Tuesday, which he admitted led to some of the issues he had finding the strike zone. He pitched through it for seven shutout innings, but after talking to the trainers, he decided it was best to take a break and avoid aggravating the injury.
"I'm sad that I have to be out [while the team is fighting for the playoffs]," Alvarez said. "At the same time, it's good because I can avoid whatever bigger issue and just keep working hard so that inflammation goes away quickly."
In 22 starts, Alvarez is 8-5 with a 2.48 ERA and three shutouts in 137 2/3 innings.
Although Alvarez missed the first half of the 2013 season due to a similar injury, the 24-year-old confirmed that the problem he's experiencing is different.
"Like any pitchers, some guys go through a period of time where they get sore and they need a little bit of a breather, and that's where he's at," manager Mike Redmond said. "He pitched a lot of innings. Last year had the two months off. This year, he hasn't had that time off like he had last year. The good news is that it's hopefully a short-term deal, he'll be able to work through it and be fine."
Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.