Grichuk swings, says back has improved

Cardinals outfielder hasn't participated in full workouts for a few days

Grichuk swings, says back has improved

JUPITER, Fla. -- With an eye on being cleared to return to the field on Monday, Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk increased his work in the batting cages on Sunday and reported improvement with his lower back afterward.

"Barring being absolutely sore tomorrow," Grichuk said, "I expect to be full activity tomorrow."

Grichuk hasn't participated in the team's full workouts since Thursday, a day after he tweaked his lower back while doing a squat. The incident led to some discomfort when Grichuk would lean forward, bend over or move his left side. He has, however, been noting improvement each day since the initial pull.

He resumed swinging on Sunday, both hitting off a tee and swinging at coach-flipped pitches.

The Cardinals have three full workout days remaining before the start of their Grapefruit League schedule, so Grichuk should not be too delayed in getting himself ready for games. He is competing for a bench job as a reserve outfielder this spring.

"You don't want to miss time," Grichuk said. "But if you had to pick, you'd want it before games, definitely."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.