Yelich heads back to Milwaukee for MRI on back

    Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers MLB for

CHICAGO — The Milwaukee Brewers received a flurry of bad news on Saturday as star outfielder Christian Yelich was sent back to Milwaukee for an MRI on his back, while two pitchers, Brett Anderson and Josh Lindblom, were both placed on injured reserve.

Yelich, 29, hasn’t played since April 11 and was eligible to come off the injured list on Saturday but that won’t be happening anytime soon.

“With Christian, we’ve hit a plateau,” manager Craig Counsell said. “Nothing bad happened yesterday (Friday). We’re just at a plateau. We’re just trying to rule everything out and get a new piece of information.

“It’s frustrating for Christian. He’s frustrated.”

Yelich left the April 11 game with back soreness and was doing work on the field as recently as Friday but he had yet to take full, outdoor batting practice. His recovery is momentarily on hold.

“Hopefully this (the MRI) adds a piece of information that will let us process,” Counsell said. “Christian is not feeling good enough to go full bore. That’s why we’re doing this.”

The 2018 MVP is being joined on the injured list by Anderson after he left Friday’s game in the first inning with a right calf injury. An MRI showed a strain. His first inning replacement in that game, Lindblom, is also being put on the injured list with a right knee effusion (liquid in the knee). He was potentially Anderson’s replacement in the rotation but now Milwaukee will have to look elsewhere.

The Brewers recalled righty Phil Bickford from their alternate site as well as outfielder Corey Ray to take Anderson and Lindblom’s place on the roster. Both were on the Brewers taxi squad and in Chicago for Saturday’s game against the Cubs.

Meanwhile, outfielder Lorenzo Cain is progressing in his recovery from a quad injury.

“Lorenzo is having his most active day today (Saturday),” Counsell said. “He’s going to do his full day on the field. It’s a stepping stone day for him.”

The big concern remains with Yelich. Counsell was asked if his MRI comes back clean, would more rest be in order.

“I don’t think rest will be the answer,” Counsell responded. “He’ll continue with activity.”

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