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Zobrist encouraged, but not rushing sore back

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist, who is nursing a sore lower back, hit in the batting cage Monday.

"Felt good," said Zobrist, who has not worked out with the team yet due to lower back pain incurred while lifting weights. "It was fine. It's more a case of being comfortable bending over than it is being comfortable twisting.

" ... I did other exercises and things in the training room. Everything was great -- had a good stretch. Tomorrow, I think the idea is maybe take some ground balls -- swing, throw, do all that stuff. But I don't think they're going to let me go out tomorrow, yet, with the whole team."

Zobrist said he is pain free at this point, though he can feel some tightness if he's in the car for a long period and when he wakes up in the morning, though he does not feel anything when he's standing.

"They don't want me to feel that extra tightness," Zobrist said. "When that goes away, then they'll probably let me go out there with everybody."

Zobrist is encouraged by his progress.

"I'd like to be out there right now, but we've got to take it slow because it's Spring Training," he said. "If it was in the middle of the season, maybe we'd try and rush things. But there's no reason to rush right now. ... So we'll see after tomorrow what they say. But I think it's just a matter of wanting to take one step at a time."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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