Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich (back) has no structural damage

Apr 11, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich (22) hits a single off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon (not pictured) during the second inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

An MRI exam performed on Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich displayed no structural damage in the former MVP’s back, manager Craig Counsell said prior to Sunday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.

Yelich hasn’t played since April 11 due to the lower-back issues and is currently on the 10-day injured list. He was eligible to come off the IL on Saturday but was instead sent back to Milwaukee to undergo the MRI.

“This was to rule out anything. Just get another piece of information,” Counsell told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. “So, we basically just ruled out anything significant structurally that would show up on the MRI.

“We still need to make progress to get him back on the field, and so from that perspective not much has changed. We’ll keep moving forward and see what some activity (Monday) at the field brings.”

The decision to have Yelich get the MRI came when the club felt Yelich hit a “plateau” in the recovery process.

Yelich, 29, has been sidelined since leaving a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Coming off a poor 2020 campaign in which he hit just .205, the 2018 National League MVP started the season hot by hitting .333 (10-for-30) with a double, one RBI and two stolen bases in nine games.

The Brewers have also been playing without center fielder Lorenzo Cain (quadriceps). Counsell was encouraged by what he saw from Cain during a workout on Saturday and Cain was back on the field for more work prior to Sunday’s contest.

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“We’re not there yet, but I think it was a stepping stone yesterday, back on the field,” Counsell said. “Whenever the players get on the field, it’s a good sign to me. It means that the training room is starting to kind of step aside and we’re starting to get into more baseball stuff. That’s where we’re at with Lorenzo.

“Now there’ll be a progression of running and baseball stuff out on the field that we have to go through.”

The 35-year-old Cain last played on April 13. The two-time All-Star is batting just .154 (4-for-26) with two homers and four RBIs in seven games.

–Field Level Media