Mauer not ready to play due to back issues

Mauer not ready to play due to back issues

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer missed his second straight game on Wednesday night due to back spasms -- which also forced him to be a late scratch from the lineup against Kansas City on Tuesday.

"I walked in [Wednesday] and asked him how he's doing," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He said, 'Not as bad as yesterday, but still not ready to play baseball. All we can do is day to day. I'm sure this little drop in temperature doesn't help things out with a stiff back. But we'll see."

Mauer, a five-time All-Star, said he originally experienced the discomfort when he tried to loosen up in the indoor batting cage prior to batting practice on Tuesday.

"I couldn't even get to the cage -- it [my back] just locked up," Mauer said after Tuesday's 9-1 loss to the Royals. "I'm in a little pain right now but it's calmed down from earlier [on Tuesday], so it's feeling a little bit better."

Mauer's injury calls for ice and muscle relaxers. He played in 35 of the Twins' last 36 games before missing Tuesday's contest, and has played in 131 of 142 of the team's games this season entering Wednesday's contest.

"Those kinds of things can clear up quick," Gardenhire said. "But while they're there, you know you just don't have any movement. You can't catch and you can't swing. We'll see how he goes today. Hopefully get in tomorrow and see if he can play tomorrow."