Kotsay says lower back is feeling better

Kotsay says lower back is feeling better

Kotsay says lower back is feeling better
PHILADELPHIA -- There was good news to be had on the injury front for the Padres on Sunday, a rarity during a trying season that has already seen 11 players land on the disabled list.

Outfielder Mark Kotsay, who left Saturday's game against the Phillies with tightness in his lower back, told manager Bud Black that he was feeling better Sunday morning.

"He said last night that tomorrow [Sunday] will be big," Black said. "When I saw him today, he said that it felt good. We're going to do the best we can to stay away from him today."

Kotsay said he first felt tightness in his first-inning at-bat and then in the field during the bottom of the inning. He was replaced by James Darnell in the second inning.

Kotsay had back surgery in 2009 and previous stints on the disabled list in 2008 (back soreness) and in 2007 (back spasms). He also spent time on the disabled list in 2007 with a herniated disc and in 2003, during his first stint with the Padres, he missed time with a protruding disc in his back.

Kotsay opened the season on the disabled list with a strained right calf. He missed the first 10 games of the regular season with the injury.

In his first 34 at-bats with the team this season, Kotsay is hitting .294 with one home run and six RBIs.