ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- For the second straight game, Adrian Gonzalez was out of the Red Sox' lineup Saturday night, the result of a back that "locked up'' on him when he bent over to talk to a small child Friday afternoon.
"He has a little situation in his lower back that came on quickly,'' said Bobby Valentine, "and hopefully it will leave quickly. They think it's muscular; right now, it's being treated as a muscular situation.''
Valentine added that he doubted Gonzalez would play the series finale Sunday afternoon.
"I would think by the beginning of next week, he should be in full swing,'' Valentine said. "It's a day game (Sunday). I bet it's real questionable, real doubtful.''
Gonzalez had started every game but one before coming out of the final game of the first half with an illness. The back is unrelated to coming out of the game against the Yankees.
"I'm feeling better today,'' said Gonzalez. "My back locked up on me (Friday). I told Bobby I could play, but he didn't want me to push it and be another guy on the DL, so they're being cautious with me. So are the trainers.
"There's still tightness there. If I need to, I can go out there, but I don't want to push it and aggravate it.''
Gonzalez said he was in a mall in Tampa next to the team hotel when he "ran into a family with kids. I bent over to say 'Hi,' to one of the kids and when I came out of that, it locked up on me. I tried to get treatment, to go out there and move around, but it wasn't feeling any
"He's going to try to take it real slow today and do nothing,'' said Valentine. "Yesterday, he took batting practice and later in the day, it caused him a little problem. So we're hoping that doing nothing will get him back quicker.''
Valentine said he was unaware if an MRI or x-rays had been taken of Gonzalez's back.
Gonzalez said he wouldn't take regular batting practice, but might try a few swings off a tee "right before the game in case they need me to pinch hit.''
This is the first time in Gonzalez's career that he has experienced back tightness, but he said he wasn't worried that it could become more problematic.
"I'm not (concerned) at all,'' he said. "I talked to a bunch of the guys and every single guy that this has happened to said this is one, two three days. It spasms and then they go away, your muscles relax and you're back to normal.''