{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"content":["injury" ] }

Setback pushes Dirks' return to Tigers to unknown date

Outfielder had back surgery in March; had been on rehab assignment

|
Setback pushes Dirks' return to Tigers to unknown date play video for Setback pushes Dirks' return to Tigers to unknown date

DETROIT -- After a week of game action, Andy Dirks' comeback from back surgery has hit a snag. The Tigers announced Wednesday that they've recalled Dirks from his rehab assignment with Class A Lakeland, and will keep him on the disabled list.

The move came after what the Tigers are calling lower back muscular inflammation from increased activity.

"Just some minor irritation," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said in an email.

The Tigers sent Dirks out on a Minor League rehab assignment a week ago, with a plan to have him spend the full 20 days allowed working his way back into game shape. Essentially, Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said at the time, that would be Dirks' Spring Training.

Dirks is trying to come back from serious back surgery. What had been lingering back issues over a few years led in March to a microdiscectomy, removing a fragment of disk removing a fragment of disk that tore away from the vertebrae.

Dirks went 5-for-16 with a double and an RBI over six games with Lakeland. He started both ends of a doubleheader on Monday against Port St. Lucie, but was lifted from the second game for a pinch-hitter after two at-bats and two strikeouts. Considering he was the DH in that game, it wasn't simply an issue of rest. Lakeland was off on Tuesday.

No word was immediately available on how long Dirks will be sidelined. Even if it's short, it likely throws another wrench into his timetable. The previous plan put him on track, if everything went well, to be potentially ready around the end of the month. This all but ensures his rehab will at least linger into August.

It also means the Tigers most likely won't get a look at Dirks in the big leagues before the July 31 nonwaiver Trade Deadline. The Tigers have been rumored to be scouting left-handed-hitting outfielders to complement an outfield rotation that currently has four right-handed hitters -- Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter, Rajai Davis and J.D. Martinez.

Dirks, a career .276 hitter over parts of three seasons, played in a career-high 131 games for the Tigers in 2013, batting .256 with nine homers and 37 RBIs.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["injury" ] }
{"content":["injury" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español