Furcal dealing with lower back stiffness

Furcal dealing with lower back stiffness

Furcal dealing with lower back stiffness
CHICAGO -- Rafael Furcal remained out of the starting lineup for a second straight day on Sunday with what the Cardinals are describing as lower back stiffness.

Furcal said after Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Cubs that the issue first surfaced on Friday. What began as tightness in his lower back also led to a tingling sensation down his leg, which prompted the Cardinals to keep Furcal inactive all weekend. He has been receiving extensive treatment for the past two days.

"It's getting better," Furcal said. "I'd rather miss two games than have to go 15 [days on the disabled list]."

He added that he would "probably" be cleared to play in the team's upcoming series against the Rockies, which begins on Tuesday.

Furcal has had back troubles before, though manager Mike Matheny said that he has been advised by the medical staff that this bout of stiffness appears to be unrelated to any previous ailment. Furcal underwent back surgery in 2008 and landed on the disabled list with a lower back strain in 2010.

"We have to keep paying attention to it to see if it loosens up again over the next couple days," Matheny said.

Earning a second straight start at shortstop in place of Furcal on Sunday was Daniel Descalso, who has moved in front of Tyler Greene on the depth chart at the position. The Cardinals prefer that Greene focus his defensive work at second base.