Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich activated off injured list

Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich, who has played just one game since April 11 and only 10 all season, is in the lineup against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday after being activated from the injured list.

Yelich, 29, has had muscle spasms in his back. He tried playing earlier this month, going 2 for 4 against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 3, but then went right back on the injured list the following day.

"I don't want to get into the details, but I ended up feeling better, doing some stuff that worked for me," Yelich said Tuesday.

He added: "I'm just excited to be back in there and contribute at some level."

An MRI in late April showed no structural damage.

Yelich said he changed his rehab over the last couple weeks and felt good enough to go on a rehab assignment for two games at Triple-A Nashville before rejoining the Brewers in Kansas City.

"That was kind of the purpose of the rehab assignment, to get multiple days playing and kind of avoid the Philly situation like last time, where I felt OK and then after the game and the next day I just wasn't good.

"I feel confident now, and I'm looking forward to being back.''

He indicated previously that the injury has been one he's dealt with in the past, but this kept him out of the lineup longer than usual. Normally, when muscle spasms subside, he said he's good to go for the long haul. Yelich now believes he's reached that point.

"They weren't going to let me play again until I could play (regularly)," Yelich said.

"It's just a combination of things. When your back bothers you, it sucks to do everything. It's just one of those things. I had to get better and play the field and hit and do everything down there those few days.''

The 2018 NL MVP is batting .353 with a .463 on-base percentage and no homers and one RBI in just 10 games this season.

His return should provide a boost in confidence -- if not some on-field production -- for a club that has struggled to score runs the past few weeks. The Brewers were 17-10 and in first place on May 1 but have lost 10 of their last 14 games, twice getting shut out and scoring a single run in three other games.

In a related move, the team optioned left-hander Hoby Milner to Triple-A Nashville.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.