Dirks recalled from rehab assignment with muscle inflammation in lower back
The Tigers sent Andy Dirks out on a minor-league rehab assignment with a plan to have him spend the full 20 days allowed working his way back into game shape. Essentially, Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said, this is his Spring Training.
This is also serious back surgery from which Dirks is trying to come back, and the comeback has apparently hit a snag. The Tigers announced Wednesday that they’ve recalled Dirks from his rehab assignment with Class A Lakeland, and will keep him on the disabled list.
The move came from what the Tigers are calling lower back muscular inflammation from increased activity.
“Just some minor irritation,” team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski replied in an email.
Dirks went 5-for-16 with a double and an RBI over six games with Lakeland. He started both ends of a doubleheader on Monday against Port St. Lucie, but was lifted from the second game for a pinch-hitter after two at-bats and two strikeouts. Considering he was the DH in that game, it wasn’t simply an issue of rest. Lakeland was off on Tuesday.
No word on how long he’ll be sidelined, but even if it’s short, it likely throws another wrench into his timetable. The previous plan put him on track, if everything went well, to be potentially ready around the end of the month. This all but ensures his rehab will at least linger into August.
It also means the Tigers most likely won’t get a look at Dirks in the big leagues before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. If they want/need a left-handed hitting outfielder for the stretch run and playoffs, they might have to swing a deal to ensure they have one ready.