Kotchman ready to return from back soreness

Kotchman ready to return from back soreness

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Casey Kotchman didn't seem terribly concerned about the lower back soreness that kept him out of a seventh consecutive game Saturday afternoon, and rightfully so.

The veteran is slated to be back in the lineup and at first base on Sunday against Kansas City.

There has been no MRI exam, there has been no cortisone shot, and, for Kotchman, there didn't seem to be any doubt that he was fine.

"It's responded favorably to the treatment," Kotchman said. "I'm excited to get back out there."

Kotchman's woes started when he woke up March 9 with the soreness, something he said he's never experienced before. But through massage and core-strengthening exercises, he's seen improvement each day.

Kotchman took batting practice on Friday, fielded ground balls and played catch again Saturday for the fourth day in a row. After Saturday's 9-2 loss to the Reds, Indians manager Manny Acta confirmed that Kotchman was a go for Sunday.

More good news: there are two weeks left of Cactus League play, which means Kotchman should be in line for a healthy complement of at-bats to hone his timing at the plate in preparation for Opening Day.

"There's enough time to be ready for when the bell rings," Kotchman said.