Youkilis on his injury

Kevin Youkilis is unsure when he will return to the Red Sox lineup from the back spasms that have kept him out for tonight and last night. Youkilis said he experiences the back spasms once per season, and they typically keep him out for one series or so.

“I’ve had back spasm every year at some point,” Youkilis said. “I get them and they go away. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. That’s the key. After you have them, you know how to treat them.”

Youkilis thought he may avoid the spasms this year, but they struck over the off day. “It’s not one specific thing you do,” he said. “It’s probably just the buildup of a long season.”

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Youkilis does not believe the spasms, which he feels in the kidney area of his lower back, are related to the oblique strain that sent him to the 15-day disabled list in May. “I don’t think so,” he said. “You never know what’s going on. It’s a long season, and things happen.”

Youkilis hoped he would be able to play tonight, but he could not. The Sox have begun to pull away in the American League wild card race, but the team’s relative comfort in the standings did not affect his availability.

“I want to play everyday,” Youkilis said. “I just can’t play. It’s upsetting to me. We’re very fortunate. There’s not one player on this team, if one guy is out, it doesn’t mean this team is not going to win. I’m a big believer that just one guy being out of the lineup doesn’t do anything. In order to win, there’s a lot of guys in this room that do a lot more on a daily basis. That’s one of my big philosophies. I’d like to be in the lineup and help this team. But we’ve got plenty of guys here that can help out when guys go down.”

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And what if last night or tonight was a playoff game?

“There was zero chance of me playing yesterday,” Youkilis said. “Maybe seventh game of the World Series, get some medication, you never know. I don’t think I could have played yesterday. I don’t think I can play today. I mean, I could have played yesterday. You probably wouldn’t have seen a very good performance.”

The spasms don’t cause so much as discomfort, Youkilis said. His back feels fine when he lays down or sleeps, but it tightens when he twists his midsection. Youkilis is receiving treatment in the form of rest and heat.

“I don’t like to ice,” he said.

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