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Brown eligible to return June 25

PHOENIX -- Pitcher Kevin Brown was put on the 15-day
disabled list by the New York Yankees on Tuesday because of a
strained lower back.

The move was made retroactive to June 10, a day after Brown was
forced to leave a start against Colorado after two innings.
Outfielder Bubba Crosby was recalled from Triple-A Columbus.

The Yankees have the best record in the major leagues, but the
health and depth of their rotation has been their top concern. Mike Mussina left his start Friday night against San Diego after three innings when he felt tightness in his right groin.

Jose Contreras was to start Tuesday night in Arizona and Tanyon Sturtze was to pitch Wednesday night against the Diamondbacks.

Brown, 39, is 7-1 with a 4.13 ERA in 13 starts during his first season with the Yankees.

The right-hander had an MRI exam, CT scan and X-rays last
Thursday, a day after injuring himself. He was initially listed as
day-to-day by the Yankees.

But the decision was made to place Brown on the disabled list
and bring up a position player with the Yankees playing interleague
series at Arizona and Los Angeles, where the designated hitter is
not used.

Brown will undergo work to loosen up the back muscles.

"Right now, I think he's on his way to Colorado," Torre said
before Tuesday night's game. "The plan is now for him to join us
in L.A. He's going to get some therapy from the doctors who do
that."

A six-time All-Star who earned his 200th career victory earlier
this season, Brown has been beset by back problems.

He had surgery to repair a disc in 2002, and this marked his
seventh time on the DL in six seasons.

After leaving his last start, Brown said he felt as if a "steel
rod" was in his back.

Yankees manager Joe Torre recently said Brown has been having
problems with his back since the start of the season and that it
was important to "get it straightened out for Kevin's psyche."

Brown was traded to New York in the offseason in a deal that
sent Jeff Weaver to Los Angeles.

Crosby has played 17 games for the Yankees and also 17 games for
Columbus. He batted .240 with two home runs and seven RBI with the Yankees.