ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Adrian Gonzalez felt fine when he worked out with the Red Sox on Thursday night at Tropicana Field. A routine trip to the mall on Friday changed that.
Gonzalez was getting a cup of coffee at the International Plaza in Tampa when he bent over to say hello to a child in a stroller. That’s when he felt his lower back lock up.
“I have no idea how it happened,” said Gonzalez, who has never had back problems before. “It was something I’ve done a million times.”
Gonzalez tried to play on Friday but was scratched from the lineup an hour before first pitch. He is out again tonight with the Red Sox starting Brett Lillibridge at first base against the Rays.
Bobby Valentine said it was “real doubtful” that Gonzalez would play on Sunday afternoon. The manager is considering using David Ortiz at first base as a way to improve the lineup. The alternative would be starting Lillibridge again, or Nick Punto.
Gonzalez isn’t concerned. He said his back felt better on Saturday after receiving treatment and medication. He has been speaking to teammates about back injuries they had.
“It’s a day-to-day thing, you get it calmed down and you go play again,” he said. “I’ll be fine. We’re being careful because we’ve had so many guys on the disabled list already this season.”
Gonzalez believes the injury is related to the All-Star break. He spent a few days on Cape Cod with his family relaxing.
“You shut your body down for a few days and then you start it up again and it’s like ‘Whoa.’ I think that could have been a factor,” he said. “That’s what the trainers said.”
There are no plans at the moment for Gonzalez to get x-rays or an MRI. He did not take batting practice.
“Hopefully I wake up tomorrow and I feel fine,” he said. “I woke up on Friday and felt 100 percent. I went to the mall and ran into a family and that’s what happened. I was perfect fine before that. It’s crazy.”