NEW YORK -- Lucas Duda's stiff back has worsened enough to prompt newfound concern about his availability going forward. Duda was out of the Mets' lineup for a third straight day on Thursday, after receiving medication for his back. But he said after the Mets' 12-3 win that the medication helped, and he expects -- not hopes -- to return to the lineup Friday against the Pirates.
Manager Terry Collins, who previously said he kept Duda out of Wednesday's game in hopes of using him Thursday, nonetheless called the situation "concerning," before going on to say that the disabled list is not currently an option.
Duda, 29, is batting .247 with 21 home runs and an .822 OPS in 109 games. He recently hit nine of those homers in an eight-game span, including eight consecutive hits that were homers.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.