Kevin Youkilis injury: Yankees playing it safe

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees 3B Kevin Youkilis was scratched from today's game after experiencing a "very, very mild" cramp on his left side.

New York Yankees third baseman Kevin Youkilis was scratched from today's game after experiencing a "very, very mild" cramp on his left side, as the manager Joe Girardi has decided to play it safe with the veteran, according to Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News.

Following news of the decision, Youkilis told reporters that the ailment was just something that happens during the season, adding that he felt he could play today without restrictions. However, he also understood his manager's decision to hold him back as the calendar hasn't even reached March.

Youkilis first experienced the discomfort in his side after running during a workout on Monday. He attributed the cramping to not hydrating enough when it was hot out. After hydrating properly, he said he felt much better.

The major concern here would be Youkilis injuring his oblique, something that could potentially sideline the veteran for a month-plus. However, the 33-year-old has experienced an oblique injury before, and he said his current injury "doesn't feel anything like that."

Still, the Yankees are listing the injury as a sore left oblique, while Youkilis says the discomfort actually stemmed from a spot lower than his oblique and higher than his hip.

Whatever the case, Youkilis is expected to return to action soon. The slugger was signed this offseason as a replacement for third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is expected to miss at least half of the 2013 season due to injury.

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