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Neil Walker downplays back issue after departing Saturday's game

"I took a checked swing my first at-bat and just something tightened up in my lower back," said Neil Walker. Stacy Revere/Getty Images

MILWAUKEE -- New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker fired his glove in the dugout in frustration at the end of the third inning Saturday. A lower-back issue that annually seems to affect him had resurfaced. And Walker needed to be pulled from the eventual 7-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Walker acknowledged that he will not play in Sunday's series finale. He hopes anti-inflammatory medication will allow him to return for Tuesday's homestand opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"I took a checked swing my first at-bat and just something tightened up in my lower back," Walker said. "I tried to push through it. It didn't loosen up that much. So I decided to come out. I've had similar issues in the past. It usually happens once a season -- something like that. From my experience, it takes a couple of days. I've got to let it calm down and then we're good. Unfortunately, I never really know when it's coming on. Today was one of those days."

It's been a rough week for Walker. After arriving at PNC Park with only one error on the season, he committed three errors during his return to Pittsburgh. Then, in Thursday's series opener at Miller Park, Walker was drilled in the chest with a sharp grounder off the bat of Hernan Perez. Walker departed that game in the ninth inning and was limited to a pinch-hitting opportunity on Friday.

"I'm not concerned," Walker said about the lower-back issue. "Like I said, I've dealt with this for the last four or five years. I kind of know. But it's frustrating because you're trying to help the team win, you're trying to help the team in any way, shape or form. And you feel like you're kind of holding yourself back. And then you realize you're not helping the team, either. I'll let this thing calm down. We've got a lot of season to go obviously."