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Matheny dealing with ruptured disk in back

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VIERA, Fla. -- Additional medical tests have determined that manager Mike Matheny's back condition is more severe than initially believed. What had been diagnosed as a bulging disk is now confirmed to be a ruptured disk, which, Matheny said, is releasing particles that are pushing against a nerve.

Matheny was in the dugout for Sunday's game, but was clearly in immense pain after sitting on a bus for about two hours while the team traveled north from Jupiter, Fla. He is experiencing numbness and pain on his right side.

"I've had problems for a while, a long time off and on," Matheny said on Sunday, before having to cut off a session with reporters so he could try to walk off some discomfort. "I've been on a program to strengthen it. But something set it off and sent it in a bad direction. I don't know what it was."

Matheny is still scheduled to have an epidural shot on Monday. If that doesn't alleviate the pain, Matheny said he would have to consider surgery. He is providing some information to physicians back in St. Louis to seek additional opinions on his options.

Matheny was unable to manage on Friday due to discomfort from this issue and a bout of food poisoning. His condition worsened after managing on Saturday.

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