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Tampa Bay Rays starting second baseman Brandon Lowe is likely to be sidelined for at least a month because of a stress reaction in his lower back, the team announced Tuesday.

Lowe, who led the Rays with 39 home runs last season, will be shut down for three weeks and then will be reevaluated to see if he can restart baseball activities. The Rays had placed Lowe on the 10-day injured list Monday.

“It’s a hit, there’s no doubt,” manager Kevin Cash said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s a big part of our club, offense, defense. Hopefully we’re going to reevaluate in three weeks, see where he’s at and get him back as soon as possible. But after that, I mean, there’s not much. We’re just going to have to make do without him.”

Lowe has gotten off to a slow start this season, hitting just .212, but he leads the team with five home runs and has 12 RBIs.

Taylor Walls and Vidal Brujan are expected to man second base in Lowe’s absence.

Lowe told reporters that he’s “not going to force it to come back before it’s ready.” He said he hopes the timetable the training staff has in place for him is the right one “and I feel great in three weeks and can get baseball started and hopefully be back soon after that.”

The Rays (21-15) entered Tuesday’s games in second place in the American League East.


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