Back spasms likely to force Rolen out for Pirates series

PITTSBURGH -- St. Louis third baseman Scott Rolen will likely sit out the three-game weekend series in Pittsburgh because of back spasms that forced him out of Wednesday night's game in Cincinnati.

Rolen initially had discomfort during batting practice and was lifted after going 0-for-2. He sat out of Thursday afternoon's game against the Reds and felt better Friday, but manager Tony La Russa doesn't expect him to start again until Tuesday.

"I think he needs to feel like he's 100 percent before we consider it," La Russa said. "We'll see how much progress he makes ... but I don't see us changing until Tuesday."

Rolen is hitting .319 with 16 homers and 73 RBI in 101 games and has helped protect Albert Pujols in the St. Louis lineup.

Rolen wouldn't rule out returning Saturday or Sunday, saying, "If I progress tomorrow like I did from yesterday to today, I'll be in better shape. But that's not guaranteeing I'll be in the lineup. They don't want it to happen again."

Scott Spiezio started Friday night at third after going 5-for-11 with three homers during the four-game series in Cincinnati.

The Cardinals are off Monday.