Rangers' Arias heads to disabled list

SEATTLE -- The Texas Rangers placed infielder Joaquin Arias on the disabled list with a lower back strain Friday to make room on the roster for second baseman Ian Kinsler.

Kinsler, batting fifth in the order, was making his 2010 debut Friday at Safeco Field after a right high ankle sprain sidelined him to start the season.

He flied out in his first at-bat.

"You feel alive again. It's a lot of fun," Kinsler said.

"You miss being out there with your teammates and enjoying that with them. Everyone has worked so hard in the off season and to just get ready for the season and then have it taken away from you and then be able to come back is just real exciting."

Asked if he envisioned missing six weeks when he first sprained his ankle during spring-training drills on March 12, Texas' 31-homer slugger from last season said: "Absolutely not. I thought it was going to be three or four days when I first did it.

"They just kind of pretty much handcuffed me and kept extending the time that the doctors and the trainers thought that it was going to take, and it ended up being five or six weeks," he said, just outside the clubhouse following a pregame meeting. "Kind of a rough one."

Manager Ron Washington said he could tell that Kinsler was excited to return when he talked to him before Friday's game.

"It's his Opening Day," Washington said.

Kinsler said he's ready to play, though his right ankle doesn't feel as good as his left.

"I'm able to do 100 percent of the things I want to do on the field," said, who indicated that he won't wear a brace on the ankle. "I wouldn't say my right ankle feels the same as my left."

Arias, 25, has hit .321 (17-for-53) in 17 games this season for the Rangers. He complained of back issues last week and missed a few games. He would be eligible to return May 15.

The infielder said he has pain in his lower back that has been building over the last week. He said he was disappointed to go on the DL after playing so well the last few weeks.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.