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Grichuk skips workouts with sore lower back

Outfielder plays it safe, expects to resume Friday

JUPITER, Fla. -- Outfielder Randal Grichuk put in a full day at the Cardinals' complex Thursday but did not join his teammates on the field for the scheduled workouts due to lower back soreness.

Grichuk downplayed the issue, saying he anticipates resuming work Friday after undergoing several hours of treatment Thursday.

"They said, 'Don't risk anything today. Take it easy,'" Grichuk said. "That's the main thing -- nip it in the bud before it gets worse. Get it out of the way."

Grichuk strained his back Wednesday while doing squats, making this the second weight-room incident the Cardinals have had this spring. Adam Wainwright suffered an abdominal strain placing a 45-pound weight back on the rack last week. Neither injury is deemed serious.

Grichuk appeared in 47 games for the Cardinals last season after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Angels. He batted .245/.278/.400 during the regular season and contributed another six hits -- including two home runs -- in the playoffs.

With the Cardinals still determining the composition of their bench, Grichuk has a chance to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster for the first time in his career. The club values Grichuk's ability to play any of the three outfield positions and likes having his bat available against left-handed pitching, but it also sees the benefit of sending Grichuk, 23, back to the Minors where he could continue his development as an everyday player.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB.
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