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Kevin Youkilis benched again by bad back

Kevin Youkilis of the Yankees reacts after being

Kevin Youkilis of the Yankees reacts after being tagged out while in a rundown in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles. (April 12, 2013) Credit: Mike Stobe

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- On Sunday, Kevin Youkilis said his back was "fine" and that he'd be back in the lineup Monday night.

That was true . . . until it wasn't.

Youkilis was in Joe Girardi's original lineup but scratched less than an hour before the game against the Rays with the back issue that forced him out of Saturday's game in Toronto in the sixth inning.

The Yankees announced Youkilis' back "tightened up" after he took batting practice. Back problems in 2011 and 2012 landed him on the disabled list.

"It might be a couple of more days," Girardi said after the game. "I saw him in BP grimace a little bit."

Granderson back in May?

Curtis Granderson still expects to return in May.

Exactly when, he has no idea.

"It's going to be somewhere in May, don't know exactly when," Granderson said. "But everything's looking pretty good."

Granderson finally progressed to tee-and-toss Monday morning during his workout at the Yankees' minor-league complex in Tampa.

But like rehabbing teammates Derek Jeter (ankle) and Mark Teixeira (wrist), it doesn't appear as if Granderson will be back soon. Jeter suffered a setback last week when a doctor's examination revealed a crack in his left ankle. Granderson and Teixeira haven't had that kind of setback and neither is in any pain. But their rehabs have been deliberate, and neither seems on track to meet the time frame of eight to 10 weeks given when they were injured.

"Tee-and-toss again tomorrow, throw again tomorrow, those are really the only things I can do right now," Granderson said.

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