Souza tweaks side during batting practice

Rays believe injury to outfielder is minor

Souza tweaks side during batting practice

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Steven Souza Jr. tweaked his left side during batting practice Sunday. The Rays plan to be cautious with their right fielder, but the feeling seemed to be that Souza will be fine.

"Souza tweaked his lower back/oblique," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We do not think it's anything major. Right now there's no delay because we have a week until guys get going.

"Obviously it's unfortunate, but you'd rather have something like that that we can get our hands on and treat, the training staff can treat now. We'll get more information, but right now that's all the information we have."

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Souza did not believe that he hurt his oblique.

"It's nothing crazy like [an oblique injury]," Souza said. "I think it's that five-hour plane ride. It just felt like I couldn't break loose in BP."

Last season, Souza missed 11 games with a right finger laceration and later missed 34 games with a fractured left hand. He hit .225 with 16 home runs and 40 RBIs in his first season with the Rays.

Souza said that he'd "rather be cautious right now with it" since he didn't feel it was serious and there was no reason to try to "battle through on the first day."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.