Rangers team doctor Keith Meister told Darvish his injury wasn't a long-term problem and once the symptoms subside he should return.
As it stands now, Darvish (10-7, 3.06 ERA) will miss at least two starts during his time on the DL.
"I'm not too concerned," Darvish said through his interpreter before Thursday night's game against Tampa Bay. "I'm just taking a precautionary measure. I'm competitive. I want to go out there and compete but at the same time, I'm thinking about my long-term situation. I don't want to go out there and risk my future. I don't want my elbow to aggravate. I think it's a good decision that I'm making right now."
Darvish said he had elbow inflammation prior to the 2011 season in Japan and missed a spring training start. But he was able to start the regular season on time and finish 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA in a career-high 232 innings pitched.
Darvish said he couldn't even play catch when he had the discomfort in 2011 and indicated the discomfort level he's feeling now is milder than what he had a few years ago.
Darvish paused when asked if he could pitch if the Rangers were in the pennant chase.
"That's a difficult question, Darvish said. "I want to pitch. I think I could if I pushed myself."
With Darvish out, the Rangers called up Robbie Ross from Triple-A Round Rock to face the Rays.
Manager Ron Washington said Ross' status is based on how well he pitches.
The Rangers lead the majors with 14 players currently on the DL and also have placed a major league-leading 24 players on the list this season.
Darvish became the seventh Rangers pitcher currently on the DL.
"I think I can throw," he said. "But if that's going to risk my elbow for the future, I'm not going to take the risk."