CLEVELAND -- Though Grady Sizemore missed two months of the 2009 season, his name is suspicious in its absence from the Indians' lineup. Sizemore, after all, was once the Indians' Iron Man, until elbow and abdominal problems limited him last year.
A week into the 2010 season, Sizemore has already been out of the lineup twice, including the most high-profile home game on the Tribe's schedule. Sizemore was a late scratch with mid-back tightness Sunday in Detroit, and he remained out of manager Manny Acta's lineup for Monday's home opener against the Rangers.
Acta, though, attempted to calm any concerns that Sizemore's injury is a serious one.
"He's feeling much better than [Sunday]," Acta said before Monday's game. "This [day off], with [Tuesday's] off day will help him out."
Sizemore felt the back issue when swinging in the batting cages before Sunday's game and had to be replaced in center field by Michael Brantley, who also took his spot in center and the second spot of the lineup Monday.
"We don't feel like taking a chance [with Sizemore] this early," Acta said.
The 27-year-old Sizemore's health following September surgeries on his elbow and abdominal was one of the highlights of the Indians' Spring Training camp. The Indians are hopeful a healthy Sizemore can get back to his 30-homer, 30-stolen base form of 2008 after an '09 season in which he batted .248 with a .788 OPS.