Braun sits again with back tightness

Brewers expect issue to linger; offseason surgery likely

Braun sits again with back tightness

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun missed a start Saturday for the second time in three games with his balky back, and Brewers fans might have to get used to the inconsistent schedule. The team and player are working together to manage an injury that probably will require a surgical fix at season's end.

"He's back's tight today, so it may be a couple days," manager Craig Counsell said. "It's day to day, and we'll just move forward with it [based on] how he is."

The worry is that playing through the tightness could trigger a setback and immediate surgery. By occasionally taking a break over the next two weeks, Braun and the Brewers believe they can get through the end of the season.

Braun has been the team's offensive MVP this year, entering Saturday hitting .287 with a team-best 25 home runs, 84 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. He ranks in the National League's top 10 in steals, runs, slugging percentage and OPS.

"We're doing this so it doesn't get worse, is the point," Counsell said. "There's going to be days the rest of the season where we'll have to take a step back so it doesn't get worse. That's how we're going to manage it."

Domingo Santana made the start in right field Saturday night against the Reds. 

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.