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BOSTON (CBS) – Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is working his way back from a bad back, and hopes to rejoin the team sooner rather than later.
“I feel great,” Youkilis told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Thursday. “I’m just basically following (the training staff’s) orders, and the past couple of days I’ve felt great. I’ve been moving around and doing what they’re telling me to do. Hopefully soon I can do baseball activities, I’m pretty excited to get back and playing.”
Youkilis on Heath, Return
The Sox third baseman hit the DL with a strained back on May 2. He is eligible to return from the disabled list on Monday, but he has yet to start baseball activities. Youkilis said he is doing a lot of cardio and core work with the Red Sox training staff, but is not sure a Monday return date is realistic.
“You’d have to ask the training staff. I’m just following orders and doing what they tell me to do. You know me, I think I can go play right now,” he said. “But that’s just my opinion. That’s how I am. I’m just going to wait, and whatever they tell me to do, I’m going to do it.”
The hardest part for Youkilis is sitting back and watching his team, especially given their struggles this season.
“That’s the big thing, I just want to come back. I feel good, but they want to make sure I’ll be healthy all year. It’s tough to watch and tough to not being a part of. I hate watching baseball. I love playing,” said Youkilis.
He’s also had to sit back and watch rookie Will Middlebrooks thrive at the hot corner. The 23-year-old is hitting .346 with three homers, nine RBIs and an extra-base hit in all but one of his six games in the big leagues.
Youkilis On The Passing Of Carl Beane
While Middlebrooks’ play has sparked the “trade Youkilis” debate, Youk doesn’t mind watching the young star-in-the-making succeed.
“It’s awesome. I was watching the game and joking they should have put a foul pole in center field so he could hit it off that, too,” said Youkilis, referring to Middlebrooks’ two-home run game in Kansas City Tuesday night. “It’s pretty amazing to watch him, and it’s great. It’s great for him to come up here on this stage and perform at a high level.”