Valverde day to day with lower back strain

BY foxsports • May 16, 2012

DETROIT — Tigers closer Jose Valverde will likely miss the two-game series against the Minnesota Twins but hopes to be available after that.

Valverde left in the ninth inning of the Tigers' wild 10-8 comeback victory in Chicago because of a lower back strain.

"I don't feel nothing when I warm up in the bullpen," Valverde said. "The thing is, I throw a couple pitches for Adam Dunn and the last pitch I throw, that's when I feel it. It was tight and sore and I had to call the trainer."

Valverde said he underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam Tuesday that came back clear.

"Now it's take it day to day, ice and massaging all day," he said.

Valverde said he has dealt with a lower back problem before, but this time it doesn't feel as severe. He missed two weeks in 2009 because of the previous back issue.

"I have before when I played in Houston," Valverde said. "This is my second time. In that moment, when I played in Houston, it's a crazy moment. Right now it's better. It's nothing serious right now, everything be OK in a couple days."

Valverde said he hoped to be ready to pitch when the Pittsburgh Pirates come to town Friday.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Joaquin Benoit would serve as the interim closer unless Valverde's injury lasted longer than a couple of days.