DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Third baseman Kevin Youkilis was scratched from Sunday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the victim of some stiffness in his lower back.
"He had three at-bats (Saturday), '' said manager Bobby Valentine, "and he had a little stiffness in his lower back, so he stayed back for treatment. He'll get some minor league at-bats (Monday), so he can get caught up. He'll get as many as he needs.''
In minor league games, managers can control game situations, so Youkilis will lead off every inning, but will be instructed not to run the bases to avoid further stress.
Youkilis is hitting .214 in Grapefruit League play this spring with six hits in 28 at-bats and two RBI.
The Bruins look like they’ll be without gritty veteran forward David Backes for at least the next couple of games, and probably more like the next couple of weeks.
It was announced that the gritty Bruins forward underwent a procedure on Monday remove the olecranon bursa from his elbow, and that “his condition will be updated after the weekend.” The procedure is commonly performed when bursitis in the elbow becomes an untenable, and seems more like an injury that worsens over time rather than anything that happened in a particular game this season.
Backes’ effectiveness did seem to be impacted after he got into a fight with Nazem Kadri in the second game of the season in Toronto, but it’s unknown if there’s any connection between that sequence and the forward’s elbow issues. According to the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons) website, it may take “10-14 days” for the skin to heal following the procedure, and three-to-four weeks before a doctor would clear the average person to resume normal activity.
The 32-year-old Backes is off to a good start for the Bruins with two goals and four points in five games prior to missing Tuesday night’s loss to the Minnesota Wild, and his absence makes an already-thin Bruins forward group smaller, softer and much less dangerous. With Backes on the shelf for at least the next two games against the Rangers and Detroit Red Wings, the Bruins have recalled young center Austin Czarnik after his short stint with the Providence Bruins.