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Sunday, June 24, 2012
Martin not concerned about stiff back


Yankees catcher Russell Martin isn't concerned about his back, which stiffened up late in his team's 4-3 victory over the Mets on Saturday night.

Manager Joe Girardi elected to take Martin out of the game in the ninth inning. Backup Chris Stewart caught the final frame.

"I've felt this before," Martin said. "Normally, it happens a little bit later in the season, just because I'm always rotating on the same side, it kind of puts a toll on the lower back. I've dealt with this before, and it hasn't kept me out of the lineup."

Martin said he will be available for Sunday night's series finale -- though he isn't expected to play. CC Sabathia is pitching, and Stewart has essentially become his personal catcher.

"I'm not going to assume anything," Martin said of likely getting the day off.

Martin said he felt stiff from the time he woke up, but hoped it would go away. Instead, it got progressively worse.

Girardi could tell Martin began to stiffen up, so he asked him about it.

"My hope is he is a backup tomorrow," Girardi said.

"He asked me about it. I said, 'I feel a little bit stiff but I can catch,'" Martin said. "My swing's crap, but I can catch back there."

Martin went 0-for-3 with a strikeout on Saturday night and is hitting .197 on the season.