MRI on Kevin Youkilis' back negative

The MRI on Kevin Youkilis' back was "negative," which according to Yankees manager Joe Girardi means there is no new structural damage to an area of his body that has been troublesome for some time.

The 34-year-old third baseman will be given an epidural injection of a painkiller Monday night or Tuesday.

Youkilis also might be headed to the disabled list. That's something the Yankees might be regretting not having done when he first complained of lower back pain and pulled himself out of a game against the Blue Jays after five innings April 20.

Youkilis has missed eight of the nine games since then. He played Saturday against Toronto but came up lame Sunday -- and before the game, he conceded he might have tried to come back too soon.

Now, he might be lost for the next 15 days at least.

"We're deciding what we're going to do," Girardi said. "He's having a problem. Over the next couple of hours we'll decide. I've had epidurals and played either the next day or two days later. But I don't know if he's in a position to play in two days. We're gonna make a decision on him tonight."

Youkilis was signed to a one-year, $12 million contract to fill the gap created when Alex Rodriguez underwent hip surgery in January, which is expected to sideline him until at least the All-Star break. Youkilis was not available to speak to reporters after the game. For now, Jayson Nix has been filling in at third, but if Youkilis goes on the DL, the Yankees might have to dip down into the farm system and recall David Adams, who is hitting .327 for Triple-A Scranton.