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MRI on Yasiel Puig’s back shows no damage

Mar 25, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT

yasiel puig dodgers getty Getty Images

Yasiel Puig made an early exit from the Dodgers’ second of two games in Australia with an apparent back injury. The situation did not sit well with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who told Mark Saxon of that Puig “grabs something every time he takes a swing and misses.”

But some positive news came down the pike on Tuesday as the Dodgers settled back into camp.

As first reported by beat writer Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, an MRI showed no major damage — only inflammation — in Puig’s back. He’s considered day-to-day for now and should be ready for the Dodgers’ March 30 game in San Diego.

Puig went 3-for-10 with a double and two RBI in that two-game season-opening series against the Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The 23-year-old Cuban outfielder batted .319/.391/.534 with 19 home runs and 11 stolen bases in his first 104 major league games last season.

  1. senioreditor2 - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    The MRI also showed nothing between his ears either.

    • Patrick R. - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:05 PM


  2. chargrz - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:31 PM


    • renaado - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:44 PM

      P.O.S (Puig OnSlaught)!

  3. jeffa43 - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Battingly had real back problems at the end of his career….

    Pretty much kept him out of the Hall…

    These phantom back problems probably bother Donnie Baseball more than most…

    • genericcommenter - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:41 PM

      Plus, the back bothered him for around 8 years before he hung them up.

  4. Sign Ahead - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    3 for 10 with 2 RBI is better than I thought he did during the Dodgers/Diamondbacks series. In fact, it’s unsustainably good. That’s not what I imagined when I read discussions about Puig.

    It still sounds like he has problems, but…at least for now…it doesn’t sound like they’re as bad as they’re portrayed.

    • kingscourt25 - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      paraphrased to “haters gone hate”

    • illegalblues - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      3 for 10 is unsustainable? huh?

      • Sign Ahead - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:51 PM

        Nope, I’ll be shocked if he hits 162 RBI this season. That’s Babe Ruth and Jo DiMaggio territory.

      • illegalblues - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        figured you meant the average. i don’t even really look at RBI’s anymore.

      • Sign Ahead - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:13 PM

        It sounds like you read my comment and reassembled it to support your own smugness. That’s not a good-faith discussion,

      • illegalblues - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:45 PM

        chill out, my man. sounded like you were ripping a dude for batting 3 for 10.

      • Barry's Triceps - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        No what would be fun? We could start scoring games on who had the best OBP. During the game. That would be a blast! While we are at it, strikeouts equal two outs, groundball no outs, and football would be the equivalent of a run. What a game!

      • illegalblues - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:46 PM

        ._. are you available for parties because, oh man, that’s a gas.

    • Barry's Triceps - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      No=know and football =flyball.

      Im gonna slap myself from these transgressions, I apologize.

  5. skerney - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    Now he’s free to continue turning his back to traffic laws and on-field decorum.

    • Patrick R. - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      On-field decorum? Are you the Opening Day Parade Grand Marshal? What the hell are you talking about?

  6. themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    So he has back inflammation? The precursor to serious back problems, then. Sounds like he’s been working way too hard. I know this is counter to the typical Puig-hate, but I try to operate from a rational stand point. The way to injure a back is to over use it. Therefore Puig’s been working too hard. He needs a break from fielding drills and batting practice. And Mattingly, who as a player had pretty severe back issues himself, needs to apologize to his player.

    • spudchukar - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:57 PM

      The other cause of back pain, is increased weight around the mid-section, so perhaps those extra 26 pounds he put on over the winter is the reason.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:06 PM

        If that young man is at all fat then he’s carrying it somewhere other than his midsection. In fact, he looks like a bull through the chest and shoulders and heavier in the legs, too. He looks like he filled out rather than got fat.

        I’d like to see some evidence of “increased weight around the mid-section” if you have any. I watched him play actual baseball live from Australia and he looked anything but fat.

      • spudchukar - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:09 PM

        I really wasn’t all that serious, but those 26 pounds aren’t all muscle. Most likely the 15 or so lbs. that he added in the off-season, that isn’t muscle, will be gone by June if not already.

        The truth is he doesn’t want to get more muscular. Lest he become Canseco or Reggie, way before his time.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        pardon me, if I’m quick to take offence at what was clearly meant tongue in cheek but look at some of this garbage on here. If people say stupid things like this about a young man they don’t even know, its not too far a stretch to think they’ll say what you said and mean it.

        Still, ook at this image. Its a few days ago. Where is he fat?,0,2885481.story#axzz2x1F6BV7p

        Don’t mistake water weight for fat or muscle, either. A person’s weight can fluctuate by up to 5 pounds/day in water for the average person. Its more than 10 pounds in water weight/day for athletes, depending on activity, intake and fitness.

        He does not in any way have a weight problem. What he has is back fatigue from over use. He needs a rest.

      • spudchukar - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:24 PM

        It isn’t nothing that he showed up to camp 26 heavier than in 2013. I could attribute maybe 10 pounds to muscle, but that would actually be a lot, and like I said, he has to be careful, his speed and agility are assets.

        Since he is so young it isn’t a big deal. I am sure he will be fine. A young guy, with a build like Puig’s can add that amount of weight and hardly be noticeable. Take it from me I have a similar build.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:34 PM

        The implication you raise with “he’s fat that’s why he hurt his back” is that he’s lazy. That smacks of racism. If you want to go around fanning the flames of casual racism, well that’s up to you but it isn’t borne out at all by the facts at hand.

        I’m taking the opposite tack. I think he’s hurt because he works too hard. he was an offensive force in Syndey, he’s been working hard to alter his swing, he takes as much fielding practice as his teammates. Hence, he’s not lazy.

        Now you cite your own physique. well I can do that, too. I’m also built not unlike Puig, just not as tall. I know I can gain and lose an easy 5 to 8 pounds in just water weight over a day. What’s more, that 26 lbs on Puig was 5 weeks ago, at the start of spring training. I sincerely doubt its still on his frame. Looking at him, I can see its not.

        Going on the actual evidence of Puig’s physique I’m going to say you are so far out to lunch that no one can see you behind the three foot Australian hot dog thing you’re behind.

      • spudchukar - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:52 PM

        Is “Tools of Ignorance”, redundant?

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:01 PM

        Its an attempt to cast myself in with a certain crowd. people on here use aggrandizing names and are little more than jerks. Others use descriptive names and they tend to be serious fans. The ones that use amusing or ironical names tend to have a good sense of humour. One or two choose self depreciating names and come across as funny, insightful, able to laugh at themselves and life. That last is who I want to be

        Is a “spudchukar” anything like one of those groups? I have you pretty firmly in the “funny/ironical” camp. Doesn’t mean I think you are right about everything though

      • spudchukar - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:36 PM

        i’m in your camp.

      • paperlions - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        Hey! I resemble that remark.

  7. drewsylvania - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    I see the inadvertent racists are at it again here.

    • Patrick R. - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:09 PM

      The Puig hate is so, so bizarre. How come it’s okay for Miguel Cabrera to drive drunk, but if Puig goes over the speed limit he’s an out of control “P.O.S.”? I say this loving Miggy Cabrera, too. It’s just these double standards don’t make much sense

      • indaburg - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:28 PM

        All manner of sin are forgiven at the altar of great production.

        I don’t get the hate either. Puig just sounds like someone who needs to grow the hell up. How many of us in our early 20s were self-actualized?

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        Puig just sounds like someone who needs to grow the hell up.

        I do not wish to offend you miss, nor do I intend to call you out, pre se but I detest these sorts of statements. They are often issued from on high by older people to younger people. The persons saying them are typical.

        -They were in their youth often as bad or worse than the person of whom they speak

        -They demand a growth and maturity that they themselves took years to grasp and probably even still struggle with

        -Whatever rash things the person being spoken of has committed the admonisher has probably recently done something rash or foolish to their own and other’s detriment and all this “grow the hell up” is actually inner directed

        Frankly, I like that Puig is young. I wish I was as young and as talented myself. I like that sometimes he drives too fast, parties, and enjoys his youth. I wish I’d done more of that. If I’d died then I’d have made a better looking corpse than I’m going to make now. I like watching him play baseball. he does so with gusto. I’d like to see him do it with joy on his face. I hate that the Old People shout at him for it. I want to tell them to “Go to hell you dried out, twisted up, bitter old sacks of failure”.

        let the young man enjoy being young. I wish he’d slow down and drive safely, sure. But “grow up”? No. I missed my youth because I had to “grow up”. I’d give anything to be in my early 20’s and able to do as I wanted instead of as I had to. I wouldn’t wish “growing up” on any one

      • dcarroll73 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:27 PM

        manytools…, I myself would not be in my 20s again for, as was said then, all the tea in China. It was the ’70s – first VietNam and my draft deferment, then oil embargo and what I thought was a bad recession until This One. NOT my idea of fun. As for “grow the hell up” I am now an older parent with a college daughter, and, believe me, that phrase has passed my lips a few times (and many times more echoed in my brain.) Just because kids enjoy life they don’t get a free pass on everything (and by the way I am a devoted Donny Baseball fan who has already called him out on his comment on another thread.) For Puig’s sake, even though I also root for the Giants, I hope he learns these things before he becomes more like Brien Taylor instead of Jackie Robinson. He has way too much talent to fritter away, but that does happen.

      • indaburg - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:00 PM

        manytools, I meant no offense to all young folk. Puig, with his behavior, demonstrates someone who needs to mature. He lacks some baseball IQ. He hits like a demon, but makes boneheaded baserunning mistakes. In his personal life, he speeds excessively (I was guilty of the exact same sin–driving 110 mph on a Florida highway). I learned my lesson–driving too fast is potentially deadly, not only to myself, but others–but I was poorer and lacked a fawning fan base. I, however, had better baserunning instincts.

  8. drewsylvania - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    Puig’s no saint. But neither is he a POS.

  9. drewsylvania - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Lastly, Mattingly should have kept this in-house. Why be a distraction and risk alienating your player even more?

    • nsauser - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      I think Mattingly is jealous that Puig’s first contract will make him more than Donny did in his career. In all seriousness, you’re right about keeping it in-house. Did Don not learn anything from Joe Torre. With that said, keep the critical comments coming Donny!

    • raysfan1 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:34 PM


      Also, for those that don’t seem to understand (not aimed at you, drew): inflammation seen on the MRI means Puig did not fake the pain. I realize some think everyone should play through pain, and there is a point to that later in the season, but risking increased injury early in the season risks the rest of the season.

      • raysfan1 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:14 PM

        (Agreement was with drewsylvania)

  10. xjokerz - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    oh thank god..we were all so worried for him…………

  11. keltictim - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    I’m pretty confused about the whole racist thing. I didn’t think POS was color based. Actually I know it’s not. A person is a POS regardless of skin tone some of what this kid has pulled definitely puts him in the POS category. Why does that make someone a racist to call him out on it? Also back inflammation is one of those things that almost always shows up on a MRI, if his disks were inflamed that would be a different story.

  12. sadkingsfan - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    It’s funny how this is being blamed on weight to lazyness to whatever else. Or maybe its from training for the season then hopping on a plane and flying 17 hours. Remember he wasn’t the only Dodger with back issues this trip, A Gon, did. Stop making everything Puig to the extreme. If it has Puig in it, it brings out all this b/s that people start spilling.

    • raysfan1 - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:34 PM

      True, and now Kershaw will miss his next start with…back inflammation.

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