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Chavez’s setback

The plan this morning — which you’ll notice if you see the teaser in our print edition — was to blog about Dallas Braden, the A’s starting pitcher in their exhibition game against Milwaukee and a candidate for the fifth-starter’s spot. But that will have to wait until this afternoon, because Eric Chavez’s back is more noteworthy.

Chavez will receive an epidural late this morning after sustaining a setback in his recovery from back surgery. Head trainer Steve Sayles said that Chavez has been experiencing stiffness in the back, and that he will be shut down for the next 4-5 days.

That means an Opening Day start is now a remote possibility, if not an impossibility. It also doesn’t speak well for what the future might hold. As Sayles said, you don’t want a guy to need an epidural two months after undergoing back surgery.

Another question is this: Is the injury an indication that Chavez will be plagued by back woes for the rest of his career. The saying, “Once a back (injury), always a back (injury) seems to apply, and at 30, he’s not getting any younger.

What do you think?

I’ll be back later to blog about Braden.

rhurd