Lind overcomes back issues to start opener

Lind overcomes back issues to start opener

Lind overcomes back issues to start opener
CLEVELAND -- Adam Lind was ready to go for the start of the regular season on Thursday afternoon, despite dealing with a back injury late in Spring Training.

Lind had been held out of all baseball activities for five days of the Grapefruit League season, but made his return to the Blue Jays' lineup on Sunday.

The 28-year-old first baseman was given a clean bill of health before heading north and as expected, found himself in Toronto's lineup for the first game of the year.

"I can't say it's going to be completely gone, it's a situation we're going to have to continue to manage," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of the tightness in Lind's lower back.

Lind experienced similar issues with his back in 2011 while transitioning from designated hitter to first base. He was forced to spend a month on the disabled list and dealt with lingering soreness throughout the second half of the year.

The native of Indiana was hitting .313 with an OPS of .858 when his back flared up last May and proceeded to hit just .229 with a .691 OPS the rest of the way. The disappointing second half eventually led to hitting only .251 for the season, but Farrell indicated he has full confidence in his cleanup hitter.

"Opinions and criticisms are going to come from all angles, but this is a guy that missed nearly a month," Farrell said. "He did have a slump in the second half and yet hit 25 home runs, he's a very good hitter and he's two years removed from a Silver Slugger Award, he's a key part to our offense, and we have that belief and confidence in him."