Back problems again put Kevin Youkilis on the DL

Kevin Youkilis reacts after he strikes out with

Kevin Youkilis reacts after he strikes out with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. (April 18, 2013) (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Kevin Youkilis is again on the disabled list with a lumbar strain and Joe Girardi didn't even try to put on an optimistic face regarding a quick return.

"I think whenever you have a back issue, there's always long-term concern," Girardi said before Friday night's game against the Angels. "I just think there is [concern] because it's hard to keep healthy with all the movements that you make."

Compounding that, of course, is Youkilis' history of missed parts of the 2011 and 2012 seasons because of back injuries and his spending April 30-May 31 of this season on the DL with the lumbar strain.

"It is a concern of mine," Girardi said. "It's twice in, what, not even three months?"

Youkilis, who played all 18 innings of the Yankees' 3-2 loss in Oakland on Thursday but said that wasn't the cause, doesn't believe this injury is the same as the first one that landed him on the DL this season.

"It's a little different," Youkilis said of the discomfort.

The third baseman said he went to bed feeling OK -- other than the normal soreness one would expect from playing 18 innings -- but awoke with "numbness" in his calf area.

That "referred pain," Girardi said, was worrisome.

"It's never good when you have the referred pain," Girardi said. "It's something I've had in my life. Sometimes it can go away quickly and sometimes it takes a while."

It didn't take long for Youkilis to phone Yankees trainer Steve Donohue, who evaluated the 34-year-old and the decision to put him on the DL Friday came shortly thereafter.

"It's one of those things where the parts of my back that were hurting before don't hurt that much," Youkilis said. "This is more something hitting the nerve, so hopefully we can get it resolved as quickly as possible."

Youkilis is scheduled to see specialist Dr. Robert Watkins of the Marina Spine Center in Marina del Rey, Calif., on Monday.

"I'm going to see him and hopefully it's good news," he said.

Girardi said Reid Brignac and rookie David Adams, slated to be demoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre until Youkilis went down, will see most of the time at third.

Youkilis, meanwhile, is again left frustrated with his body.

"When you break your arm or you break your finger or something like that, it's a lot easier to pinpoint stuff," Youkilis said. "When you don't have a definitive answer all the time, it's tough. For me, personally, I just want to be out there playing, and right now it stinks."

Notes & quotes: Taking Youkilis' spot on the roster is OF Thomas Neal, a righthanded hitter whom Girardi said will see time against lefthanders and started Friday night. Neal hit .289 with a .373 OBP in spring training and was .339/.426 with Triple-A Scranton. "I think they were a little surprised," Neal, 25, said of the Yankees' reaction to his spring. "But I knew what I was capable of doing." . . . RHP Adam Warren, as expected, was sent to Scranton after pitching six scoreless innings Thursday. RHP Chris Bootcheck, 34, who went 5-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 11 starts for Scranton, was called up. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees transferred Eduardo Nuñez to the 60-day disabled list . . . The club also outrighted LHP Cesar Cabral to Double-A Trenton.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Baseball videos

advertisement | advertise on newsday