Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani faces a six-week pitching layoff after suffering an elbow strain, the team said Monday. The Japanese ace only recently returned to pitching duties after nearly two years off the mound following Tommy John surgery in September 2018. However, during another torrid outing on Sunday against the Houston Astros, the 26-year-old two-way threat was sent for an MRI scan after complaining of soreness in his right arm. The Angels on Monday said Ohtani had been diagnosed with a strain of the flexor pronator mass, which helps stabilise the elbow. "A general timetable for beginning a throwing progression following this injury is 4-6 weeks," the Angels said. Ohtani will remain with the squad for its upcoming trip to Seattle and could yet feature as a hitter, however. "He is traveling with the team to Seattle and his status as a designated hitter is day to day," the Angels added. Ohtani has suffered a series of maulings during his pitching stints so far this season. He gave up three singles and walked three batters in a 6-4 defeat to the Oakland Athletics last month, in his first appearance on the mound since his elbow surgery. Against the Astros on Sunday, he was yanked after giving up five walks in the second inning, meaning he was walked eight of the 16 batters he has faced this season.