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Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Mauer's back still inflamed, but no further damage

Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer will take a stronger dosage of anti-inflammatory medicine to try to hasten his recovery from a lower-back problem.

Mauer hasn't played yet this spring training. He had a dye-injection MRI Tuesday to identify any previously undetected issues. Manager Ron Gardenhire says the diagnosis was the same as before.

Minnesota had become concerned by his lack of progress, but Gardenhire expressed relief Wednesday. Mauer has inflammation on the right side of his lower back at the sacroiliac joint, where the spine meets the pelvis.

The reigning AL batting champion had surgery in December to remove a kidney obstruction. He's been swinging, catching and throwing but can't run without pain.

Twins general manager Bill Smith said team doctors will continue to evaluate Mauer and seek other opinions as well.

"As soon as we get more information, we'll go from there," Smith said.