'Better' Sizemore to miss another game

CLEVELAND -- Once considered Cleveland's iron man, Grady Sizemore is showing some early season rust.

Sizemore, who played in 382 straight games between 2005 and 2008, sat out the Indians' home opener Monday against the Texas Rangers with tightness in his back. It was the second missed game in a row for Sizemore, who was a late scratch from the lineup on Sunday in Detroit.

Sizemore's back locked up when he was swinging in the batting cages at Comerica Park. He was replaced in Monday's lineup by Michael Brantley, who started in center field and took Sizemore's No. 2 spot in the batting order.

Indians manager Manny Acta said Sizemore could use another day's rest. The Indians are also off Tuesday, giving the 27-year-old additional time to heal.

"He's much better," Acta said. "But we don't feel like taking a chance this early."

While the Indians don't seem overly concerned about Sizemore's back, his absence from the lineup is noteworthy because of his durability.

He played in all 162 games in 2006 and '07 and missed only five games in 2008. However, Sizemore, who plays at full speed all the time, was limited to just 106 games last season -- his fewest since 2005 -- because of elbow and abdominal injuries.

A three-time All-Star, he underwent offseason surgeries on his elbow and abdominal wall. He batted just .248 last season with 18 homers and 64 RBIs, his lowest totals since 2004.

Sizemore was not available for comment before the game.