Roberts still day-to-day, unlikely to play at all Wednesday

04/16/2014 2:35 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

The Yankees aren't rushing Brian Roberts back as he nurses an injury.(AP)
Brian Roberts was not in the lineup for the first game of the Yankees' doubleheader with the Cubs Wednesday, and he likely won't be in the second, either.

Roberts told the media Wednesday morning that he had a lower back strain of some sort, and while he felt he could play, Yankees manager Joe Girardi planned to stay away from him despite the doubleheader.

"I haven't done everything yet, but if they needed me to play I certainly could," Roberts said, but the skipper said even though "he's much better, I'd just probably stay away from him today and see where we're at tomorrow."

Roberts missed Sunday's game against the Red Sox with what was termed low back stiffness and had a precautionary MRI, but the test revealed that what he started feeling the day before was nothing structural.

"Saturday, towards the end of the game, I just got real stiff and it got worse that night, Roberts explained. "I came in still tight on Sunday, so we just did a precautionary MRI. Everything was fine, I just aggravated something, but I got some medication and did some therapy and I feel a lot better now; the last 48 hours made a big difference."

As for how the whole scenario may have come about, even Roberts had to laugh about the unlucky circumstance.

"I took a bunch of extra swings Saturday just trying to get things…maybe I should've stuck with where I was," he laughed, playfully referencing the fact that he is just 4-for-31 this season.

Roberts worked out despite the Yankees' rain out on Tuesday, saying he played catch and did some cardio and core exercises, and hoped to do some hitting in the cage Wednesday. How he comes through that will likely determine his availability for the Tampa Bay series this weekend - and given that first baseman Kelly Johnson will likely get at least one day off against a left-handed pitcher this weekend, Roberts' situation could have a ripple effect on the whole infield.  

"(First base) depends on Brian, because against lefties he gives me another right-handed bat if I want to give Kelly (Johnson) a day off," Girardi said Wednesday, before adding jocularly that "I could put Scott Sizemore there, I think I could put (Yangervis) Solarte there, and I know I can put (Carlos) Beltran there!"

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