Brewers’ Christian Yelich will undergo MRI on ailing back after hitting ‘plateau’ in recovery

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Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich has been sidelined with a back injury since April 11, and it’s not certain when he’ll be able to return to the active roster. Prior to the Brewers’ Saturday game against the Chicago Cubs (MIL-CHC GameTracker), manager Craig Counsell told reporters that Yelich “has hit a plateau” in his recovery from the injury and is returning to Milwaukee to undergo an MRI (via Tom Haudricourt). That’s obviously a concerning development given that Yelich was eligible to come off the injured list on Saturday.


Yelich has dealt with back issues off and on throughout much of his MLB career, including prior stints on the IL in 2014 and 2015. 

This season, Yelich is batting .333/.459/.367 through nine games. While Yelich was productive overall in the abbreviated 2020 season, he was well shy of the heights he reached in 2018 and 2019, when he performed at an MVP level for the Brewers. He’s hoping to return to that tier in 2021, but the first order of business is recovering from a back injury that’s looking increasingly serious. Yelich is in the second year of a $215 million contract extension that runs at least through 2028.

The Brewers are also without center fielder Lorenzo Cain (quad) at the moment, which means a current outfield alignment of Avisail Garcia in right, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Billy McKinney in Yelich’s spot in left. McKinney has been productive thus far in 2021, so expect to him to consider being the primary while Yelich is out. 

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