Painful lessons learned in the past are keeping Adam Lind confident his chronically injured back won’t send him on what has become an annual trip to the disabled list.
The Toronto Blue Jays first baseman left Sunday’s 5-4 loss in Boston after feeling strain in the middle of his back. The 29-year-old, who added he had to wait four innings for a doctor to see him, said he was distraught over what he thought was the return of an injury that has haunted him for the last couple seasons.
“I’m in a better mental situation than I was yesterday. I was pretty rattled and shook up. I feel better and I hope it’s only a couple of days,” he said Monday before the Blue Jays opened a four-game series at home to the Detroit Tigers.
Back spasms landed Lind on the DL in 2011 and again in 2012. On Sunday, Lind said he woke up with the strain, but that it went away during batting practice.
Lind added he has played through back issues already this season, but that the pain flared up after he chased Ryan Lavarnway’s double down the right-field line and forced him to leave in the second inning.
He was replaced at first base by catcher Josh Thole, who in the ninth inning failed to field a grounder from Shane Victorino that scored the winning run for Boston.
The result didn’t help Lind’s frustration, but that he thinks a couple days off will make the difference. The last trips to the disabled list came from playing through the injury, a mistake Lind said he won’t repeat.
“Few extra innings results in a month on the DL, so I didn’t want to put myself through that again. It just wasn’t the smart thing to do,” he said.
Lind isn’t the only Blue Jay suddenly on the mend. Slugger Edwin Encarnacion was pulled moments before Monday’s game with left hamstring tightness. Toronto manager John Gibbons said Encarnacion, who is also working through a sore wrist that is keeping him from fielding, is day-to-day and that the team doesn’t expect to make any roster moves.
A healthy Lind has had a resurgent season with the Blue Jays. His .327 batting average, albeit with 223 at-bats, is tied for fifth in the majors. Lind also has 11 homers and 33 RBIs. That’s a big increase from last season, when Lind hit just .255.
Lind, who has yet to be examined by the team doctor, doesn’t expect to return to the disabled list. He said staying healthy was the goal he set for himself before the season began.
“I’m hoping to avoid that for myself and to show the organization that I can be on the active roster for the whole season.”