Yankees

Yankees’ Youkilis Says Back Stiffness ‘Nothing Like It Was Before’

Feet-First Slide Leads To Back Pain For Infielder
Kevin Youkilis makes a play at first base for an out at Yankee Stadium on April 27, 2013. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Kevin Youkilis makes a play at first base for an out at Yankee Stadium on April 27, 2013. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Kevin Youkilis was kept out of the Yankees lineup Sunday with lower back stiffness, but says it’s “nothing like” the injury that put him on the disabled list in April.

“It’s nothing like it was before,” Youkilis said. “Just needs a little rest.”

The infielder tweaked his back sliding into first base on a defensive play Saturday against the Seattle Mariners. Youkilis, who missed a month due to pain related to a bulging disc, was activated from the DL on May 31.

Youkilis said he’d avoid the feet-first defensive slide in the future to avoid compression on the disc.

“I think now I’ll just maybe dive head-first more,” he said. “That was talked about, just dive head-first and make it look extra special. That play probably doesn’t happen that much anyway.”

Youkilis is 5-for-28 with three doubles and an RBI since his return.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Youkilis had “normal stiffness,” and was hopeful he’d be in the lineup Tuesday when New York starts a three-game set at Oakland.

“My hope is after playing five days in a row, the next time he’ll be able to play six,” Girardi said. “We’ve got a couple of six-day stretches that hopefully we can run him out there every day.”

And for the record, Girardi would prefer Youkilis simply “run straight through the bag” on defense.

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