Rangers won't rush Elvis Andrus

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers won't rush shortstop Elvis Andrus back for this week's showdown series against Oakland, even with one game separating the teams in the American League West standings.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said after Sunday's 4-2 loss to Minnesota that he doesn't expect Andrus to play in Monday's series opener at second-place Oakland.

Andrus, who didn't play Sunday, said after the game that his lower back, which he labeled as stiff earlier in the day, was about the same.

"I'm going to rush it as much as I can but I want to be healthy out there," Andrus said. "I haven't been 100 percent since the second day of the season but at least I've been 80 percent."

Andrus said he feels OK swinging a bat, but when he has to go down for a ground ball, that's when the pain pops up.

"It's not that bad, it's happened before to me," Andrus said. "I know what I have to do to get it better."

Andrus has been a catalyst for the Rangers in the No. 2 spot in the lineup since the All-Star break, batting .314 and scoring 25 runs and driving in 18 for 40 games.

But manager Ron Washington isn't going to push his shortstop even with the pivotal series against the A's.

"We're not worried about the importance of the series," Washington said. "We're worried the importance of the players who have to play in that series. If Elvis is not ready to play, Elvis is not ready to play. We're not going to dig a hole and hide. We've missed a lot of players and we continue to move forward and it's not going to change. We want Elvis, but whenever he's ready."

With Andrus out, it likely means that Jurickson Profar will be back at shortstop on Monday.

Profar was 0-for-4 in Sunday's game and was unable to turn a key double play in the fifth inning. Profar's defense has been more than solid this season.