The 37-year-old Burnett, who left in the fifth inning of Friday night's game against the Miami Marlins, has been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. Doctors said that he will eventually need surgery that requires six to eight weeks of recovery.
"I'm going to have to deal with it," Burnett told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Paying attention to it, knowing it's there, knowing what I can do to overdo it and knowing what I can do to keep it where it needs to be. I'm more of a go-getter and I'm not really a take-it-easy kind of guy, so it's going to be a test."
He said he'd take the mound for his next start against the Atlanta Braves and "go about Wednesday like nothing happened." After that, he plans to put off surgery for as long as possible and pitch through the pain.
Burnett is 0-1 with a 3.94 ERA and 10 strikeouts in three starts this season. He also has walked 14 in 16 innings, including six on Friday when the pain "really bothered his control," according to manager Ryne Sandberg.