Angels reliever Sean Burnett sidelined by another fluke injury

Sean Burnett hurt his back, again, while putting his son in a shopping cart.
(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
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TEMPE, Ariz. — Last spring, Sean Burnett’s lower back locked up as he was reaching up to put his glove on the top shelf of his locker, forcing the reliever to miss about a week of camp with the Washington Nationals.

This spring, his first with the Angels, Burnett’s back tightened up when he put his 4-year-old son in a shopping cart, and that sent the veteran left-hander into an MRI tube on Monday and to a back specialist on Tuesday.

“Both are random things that weren’t baseball-related and didn’t happen on the field,” Burnett said. “Last spring, it went away after a couple of days. This is the exact same thing. It’s early in spring training, so I can be more cautious, but I don’t think I will be out for long.”


Burnett, who underwent surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow last October, said his back has already loosened up in the last few days, and he’s feeling better. The MRI test revealed no abnormalities, and he is listed as day to day.

The 30-year-old, who signed a two-year, $8-million contract with the Angels, went 1-2 with a 2.38 earned run average in 70 games with the Nationals last season and is expected to be one of the Angels’ top late-inning relievers in 2013.

Asked to rate his concern level with his back condition on a scale of one to 10, Burnett said, “One. It’s Feb. 19. I’m not going to miss any games.”


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