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Kevin Youkilis' MRI comes back negative

Kevin Youkilis looks on after grounding out in

Kevin Youkilis looks on after grounding out in the sixth inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (April 3, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

After sitting out six straight games with tightness in his lower back, Kevin Youkilis returned to the lineup Saturday, but he woke up Sunday with what's become a familiar feeling in his back and had an MRI Monday.

It came back negative, but after Monday night's game, Joe Girardi said Youkilis probably will get an epidural shot Tuesday. He could wind up on the disabled list.

"It's one of those things, waking up, I didn't feel right,'' Youkilis said. "Sometimes after all your adrenaline's gone, things occur. I'm at the same point and we have to find out what's going on.''

Youkilis, who spent time on the DL in 2011 and 2012 with back issues, added that when he said he felt OK Saturday, that was a relative term.

"I'm going to tell you I'm OK a lot of times if I'm going to play,'' he said. "OK is not great a lot of times. You have to suck it up sometimes and play through things. I thought I could play through it, but it just didn't feel right.''

If Youkilis has to go on the DL, because he played Saturday, he can be backdated only to April 27 instead of April 20.

Stepping in

Austin Romine, once listed among the top catching prospects in baseball before missing much of last season because of a back injury, started Monday night against the Astros.

"It's been a while, but I needed to get fully healthy,'' said the 24-year-old, brought up from Triple-A when Francisco Cervelli suffered a broken right middle finger Friday night. "I'm ready to go.''

Romine was 3-for-19 for the Yankees in September 2011, his only major-league experience, and hopes an adjustment he's made translates to the majors. "The biggest thing is getting the foot down,'' said Romine, who was hitting .333 in Triple-A. "I had a lot of leg kick, I got rid of that and that allows me to get my foot down early and actually see the ball bigger and I've been able to put the barrel on the ball a lot more.''

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