Astros' Backe suffers foot injury

February 24, 2008 2:42:45 PM PST
Astros pitcher Brandon Backe suffered a bone bruise on his right foot when he was hit by a hard grounder during batting practice Saturday. X-rays were negative. Manager Cecil Cooper said the injury wasn't serious, but he was still going to hold Backe out of Sunday's workout.

"We're going to get him some extra rest to make sure he's OK," Cooper said. "At this point, nothing to be alarmed about. I'd just rather be cautious than take a chance."

Backe is expected to fill a spot in Houston's starting rotation. The 29-year-old went 3-1 in five starts late last season after coming off Tommy John surgery on his right throwing elbow.

Backe was pitching from behind a screen when he was struck.

"I don't like to pitch with a screen there anyways," he said. "I moved it out of the way, just enough that I had protection, but not full protection."

He kept pitching after he was hit and said his foot didn't start hurting until Saturday night.

"Just walking around the house, it started to get more painful," he said. "By 4 or 5 o'clock, I couldn't take the pain anymore. I figured it was pretty bad by that point."

He was slated to start Thursday's preseason opener against Cleveland in Winter Haven, but doubted he would be ready in time.

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