Brewers' Christian Yelich heads back to Milwaukee for MRI on sore back

CHICAGO -- The Milwaukee Brewers received a flurry of bad news Saturday as outfielder Christian Yelich was sent to Milwaukee for an MRI on his back, while two pitchers, Brett Anderson and Josh Lindblom, were placed on the injured list.

Yelich, 29, hasn't played since April 11 and was eligible to come off the injured list Saturday.

"With Christian, we've hit a plateau," manager Craig Counsell said. "Nothing bad happened [Friday]. We're just at a plateau. We're just trying to rule everything out and get a new piece of information.

"It's frustrating for Christian. He's frustrated."

Yelich left the April 11 game with back soreness and was working out on the field as recently as Friday, but he still had not taken outdoor batting practice. His recovery is on hold.

"Hopefully [the MRI] adds a piece of information that will let us process," Counsell said. "Christian is not feeling good enough to go full bore. That's why we're doing this."

Joining the 2018 MVP on the injured list is Anderson, who left Friday's game in the first inning with a right calf injury. An MRI showed a strain. His first-inning replacement, Lindblom, also is now on the injured list with a right knee effusion (liquid in the knee). He potentially was Anderson's replacement in the rotation, but Milwaukee will have to look elsewhere.

The Brewers recalled righty Phil Bickford from their alternate site, as well as outfielder Corey Ray. Both were on the taxi squad and in Chicago for Saturday's game against the Cubs.

Meanwhile, outfielder Lorenzo Cain is progressing from a quad injury.

"Lorenzo is having his most active day [Saturday]," Counsell said. "He's going to do his full day on the field. It's a steppingstone day for him."

Counsell was asked if Yelich's MRI comes back clean, would more rest be in order.

"I don't think rest will be the answer," Counsell said. "He'll continue with activity."