Ivan Rodriguez says back injury no cause for worry
Washington Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez left today's 7-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park with soreness in his lower back but said he had no doubts he would be back in the lineup soon, perhaps when the team opens a West Coast swing on Tuesday in San Francisco.
"It's just tight in the lower back," said Rodriguez, who has been battling back issues for much of the season. "It just got me a little bit. It's a little tight right now, but I'm just going to take a few days, and I'm sure, 100 percent, I'll be okay in the next couple of days."
Rodriguez, 38, came out of the game after he grounded out to end the third inning. Wil Nieves replaced Rodriguez, who is second on the Nationals in batting average.
A sore back also forced Rodriguez from Washington's 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 23.
In addition to stiffness in his lower back, Rodriguez dealt with back spasms earlier in the season. In a game against Philadelphia, he said he felt his back spasm while throwing to second base.
"You don't need to worry about me," Rodriguez said. "I'll be playing pretty quickly. It happens to catchers. When you squat that many years and you squat so much behind the plate, sometimes you're going to get a tight lower back, and that's what happened. I'll be all right. I'm going to get some treatment and be fine in a few days."
Nieves appears most likely to play catcher in Sunday's series finale against Baltimore. The Nationals then have Monday off before opening a 10-game trip that includes stops in San Francisco and San Diego.
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