Old back issue bites Jenks; MRI scheduled

NEW YORK--Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks lasted just four pitches Tuesday night before having to depart.

"It's my back,'' Jenks could be seen telling catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia after running the count to 3-and-1 on Jorge Posada, the first batter of the seventh inning for the New York Yankees.

After the game, Jenks confirmed that it was indeed his back that forced him out of the game, a recurrence of a problem dating back his tearing a small muscle behind his left shoulder blade in his second year of pro ball.

"It's an injury that happened years and years ago,'' Jenks said. "Unfortunately it gives me little fits now and then. Everything's fine once I cool down and it starts relaxing. It'll be all right maybe in a day or two.''

Jenks said he has not been sidelined by the injury for "probably a year or two at least.''

Jenks said he was planning to get an MRI Wednesday morning, primarily to reassure the Sox medical staff that the condition is as innocuous as he describes.

Jenks said he began to feel discomfort as he was warming up. There have been other times he has felt it cramping up but was able to throw through it. Not this time. "It grabbed and locked up pretty good,'' he said. "But it's already feeling better now.''