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Kevin Youkilis has back flare-up, but it doesn't seem major

Yankees' Kevin Youkilis reacts after he strikes out

Yankees' Kevin Youkilis reacts after he strikes out looking in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. (May 31, 2013) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

SEATTLE - Kevin Youkilis' back acted up again Sunday morning, but neither he nor Joe Girardi sees the issue as major.

"They just want to give me an extra couple of days," said Youkilis, who did not start Sunday after starting the previous five games. Girardi said he would have inserted Youkilis if absolutely necessary but added "my goal was to stay away from him."

Youkilis, who spent April 30-May 31 on the disabled list with a back injury, tweaked his back during Saturday's game while playing first base. It occurred when Youkilis, 5-for-28 since returning from the DL, fielded Raul Ibañez's grounder and slid feet-first into the bag to record the out unassisted.

"It's nothing like it was before," Youkilis said of the lumbar injury that landed him on the DL. "Just needs a little rest."

Still, he has a history of back injuries. This is the third straight season in which he's missed time because of a back issue. So although Girardi called it "normal stiffness" and said he expects Youkilis to be in the lineup Tuesday night when the Yankees start a three-game series in Oakland, he's also a little more concerned about this kind of stiffness, given Youkilis' history.

Cano scufflingRobinson Cano went 0-for-3 Sunday, extending his current slump to 3-for-28. "I'm not going to worry about Robbie," Girardi said. "He's the least of my worries." Cano is hitting .272 with a .339 OBP, a team-best 15 homers and 40 RBIs.

Extra basesEduardo Nuñez (oblique strain) hasn't swung a bat since suffering a setback May 25 but has starting doing "rotational exercises" at the minor-league complex in Tampa, Girardi said . . . As expected, Vidal Nuño, who left Friday night's game with Triple-A Scranton with a groin injury, was placed on the DL . . . Girardi said Derek Jeter (ankle) is expected to meet with his surgeon "Wednesday or Thursday" and hopes to be cleared to begin baseball activities.


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