Vogelsong's spring delayed by injured back

Vogelsong's spring delayed by injured back

Vogelsong's spring delayed by injured back
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Already burdened with multiple injury-related concerns, the Giants were saddled with another one on Sunday, when right-hander Ryan Vogelsong revealed that he will miss at least the first 10 days of Spring Training with a strained back.

Vogelsong, 34, hurt himself while squatting on a balance ball and lifting 70-pound dumbbells -- an exercise he consistently performed all offseason -- on Feb. 7.

"I'm a little banged up right now," Vogelsong said. "I'm not going to be doing anything here for a while."

Manager Bruce Bochy said that Vogelsong underwent an MRI that not only confirmed the injury but indicated that the No. 4 starter could be sidelined for up to two weeks.

"Hopefully not that long," Bochy said.

General manager Brian Sabean remained ostensibly unruffled by Vogelsong's misfortune.

"He's in such good shape, and he was ahead of schedule," Sabean said.

Vogelsong's inactivity will cast extra attention upon left-hander Eric Surkamp, who finished last year as San Francisco's No. 5 starter. Surkamp appeared destined to be squeezed out of the rotation by Barry Zito and open the season with Triple-A Fresno, but he could claim the fifth starter's role if Vogelsong can't begin the season on time.

"We usually get six or seven [starters] ready anyway," Sabean said.

Vogelsong, who provided inspiration last season with his climb to All-Star status after 13 professional seasons as a journeyman, insisted that his ailment isn't serious.

"At this point, if it was the middle of the season, I'd be fine," said Vogelsong, who finished 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA a season ago and received a two-year, $8.3 million contract this offseason. "I'm just playing it safe. It's all right. Obviously, it stinks, because you worked all offseason to get ready for the first day of camp. To have it happen now is bad, but at the same time, it's better than [it happening in] June. ... We're just making sure we get it knocked out right now so it's not an issue."

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