NEW YORK -- Kevin Youkilis is on the 15-day disabled list for the second time this season with a back ailment, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that the team cannot count on his return.
"Back issues usually don't get better," Cashman said on a conference call Monday. "They can, but they're very debilitating and hard to get a handle on. It's definitely a concern. As of right now, I'm not planning on him [returning] until they tell me I can plan on him."
The 34-year-old Youkilis was scheduled to see back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins on Monday after complaining of numbness in his right foot and calf, and Cashman said that the Yankees had not yet received results of that visit.
"I just know he's not the player that he can be, because of the back right now," Cashman said. "Are we going to be in a position to get that player back at some point throughout this season? It would be nice."
Youkilis is batting .219 (23-for-105) with two home runs and eight RBIs in 28 games for the Yankees this season, and he was 6-for-41 since returning from his first DL stint for a lumbar spine sprain.
Cashman said that Youkilis passed his physical with "flying colors" before inking a one-year, $12 million deal in January, and that he had been comforted by also knowing the White Sox -- with whom Youkilis ended the 2012 season -- offered the veteran a two-year contract.