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Youkilis talks back spasms

09.16.09 at 4:51 pm ET

Kevin Youkilis spoke to the media in the Red Sox clubhouse prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Angels, speaking for the first time publicly about the back spasms which has kept him out of the lineup both for the first two games of the Sox’ current three-game set. Youkilis said that he definitely wasn’t able to play Tuesday, but was hopeful that the spasms will have subsided enough to be back in the lineup Thursday. Here is some of what he had to say:

“I’ve got back spams. I don’t know when I’ll be back, but hopefully soon.”

“I’ve been getting phone calls about kidney stones all day. There’s no kidney stones. I think it was one of those things where it was in the kidney area, just in the back area. I don’t know, a lot of stuff being run with.”

(Did he ever think it was kidney stones) “I never personally did, maybe people around thought I had kidney stone. You play telephone sometimes that’s how it works.”

(Where is it?) “Right in my kidney area in my back.”

“I’ve had back spasms every year and at some point they go away. Hopefully they’ll go away and be good to go tomorrow.”

(Related to the oblique) “I don’t think so. You never know what’s going on. It’s a long season, things happen. I get this once a year, this one little thing. I was close to not having it this year and it happened. It’s one of those things that can take just a couple of days and hopefully it’s better and makes progress each day.”

“When you have back spasms there’s not one specific thing that you do. It’s probably just a build up of a long season.”

“I’ve had mild (back spasms) for a couple of days and finally it got worse and worse and got tighter.”

“I want to play every day, just can’t play and it’s unfortunate. There’s not one player on this team if this guy is out means the team isn’t going to win.”


(On playing tomorrow) “I don’t know. I was hoping I could be back today. Hopefully I can be back tomorrow, but it’s one of those day-to-day things.”

(On whether his back was the reason he sat out the second game of Sunday’s double-header) “No, Tito didn’t play me that game.”

(On whether he would be playing if the stakes were higher) “There was zero chance of me playing yesterday. Maybe seventh game of the World Series, I’d get some medication. You never know, but I don’t think I would have played yesterday.

“I could have played yesterday, but you probably wouldn’t have seen a pretty good performance.”

(On whether the pain is debilitating or giving him trouble sleeping) “No, I can sleep well through it. I just lay on my back. It feels good when you lay down, it’s just when you move around. That’s when you have pain. It’s not really pain, it’s just muscle tightness [and] spasms, so I don’t classify it as pain as much as spasms. It’s just an uncomfortable feeling at times, but I wouldn’t say it’s pain.

“Back spasms are just basically [when] the tightness doesn’t allow you to move in certain directions. Turning and rotating is probably the hardest thing, but once those go away it’s fine. ”

(On how he is treating it) “Heat. I don’t like to ice. I like just heating [to] loosen up the muscles. When your body allows you to be ready, your body will let you go.

“I’m not going to be 100 percent from here on out, but if I can go where I can rotate left and right and move around, I’ll be fine.”

(On whether doctors have told him exactly how long he’ll be out) “No. Like I said, I’ve had them before. I had them last year in [Philadelphia] I missed the series. It was three games and I was back playing.

“If [the spasms] are very bad, you know, they could go for two, three, four or five days, but once they’re gone, they’re gone. That’s the key. After you have them, you have to treat everything from there on out every day, so you come in and get a treatment every night and you’re usually fine after that.

“I don’t have recurring [spasms]. There’s no timetable. It’s not like a football MCL sprain where guys are out three-to-six weeks, or this and that. It’s more or less just rest and hopefully you can play as soon as possible.

“Once I feel good, I’ll be in there. Hopefully it will be tomorrow, and if not, the next day.”

(On whether he is thinking about catching the Yankees) “We don’t talk about it, we just go out and play baseball. Our big thing is just trying to win games from here on out and trying to get hot and take us into the postseason. It doesn’t matter if we win the East or Wild Card, just getting into the playoffs is our goal. If we can catch the Yankees, that would be great to win the East, but at the same time, we’re just looking to win each series from here on out to get to the postseason.”

(On how the team is playing) “We’re playing good. Last night was a great game. Daisuke pitched well, which is a huge thing for us right now. We’re trying to get another starter, but depth of the starters is huge, so if we can have a lot of depth from here on out the next 19 games that would be big for us. It’s all about pitching. If we pitch well, we’ll be fine. When you’re in the postseason that’s all it’s about: pitching. If we pitch from here on out and have good starts, and our bullpen pitches well, we’ll get in.”

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