Mike Trout tried to come back Tuesday night after sitting out two games because of back stiffness. It did not go well, and now the Los Angeles Angels are proceeding cautiously with their 22-year-old slugger.
After Trout struck out swinging in the first inning at Houston's Minute Maid Park, he left the game because of continued back problems.
The Millville native said he was examined by a doctor before the game. He was more thoroughly evaluated Wednesday in Houston.
Trout said an MRI exam of his ailing back came back negative.
"The MRI was clean," Trout said Wednesday. "It was just some inflammation in my mid-left back. It's definitely good news."
"We'll definitely take a half-step back here and find out exactly what's going on," Angels manager Mke Scioscia said before the results of the MRI became known. "He can't think of one thing that he did in the course of the last three or four days that caused it."
Trout said he "didn't feel comfortable" when the game started Tuesday.
"I didn't want to risk it and push it too much," Trout said. "I felt something, and it's the same thing I've been feeling for a couple of days."
Trout is batting .293 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs. He was not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Astros.
Trout, who leads Major League Baseball in votes for this year's All-Star Game, said he hoped to play again within the next couple of days.
"I'm not going to do much today," he said, "probably just going to throw and see if I can hit in the [batting] cage. [I'll] see how I feel tomorrow and maybe go tomorrow."
Asked how concerned he was, Trout replied: "Not too concerned. I made progress over the last two days, so it was obviously getting better, but just don't want to push it too much where it gets worse.
"It's frustrating for me. I want to be out there."