NEW YORK -- Ichiro Suzuki's sore lower back is improving, according to the veteran outfielder, but entering Tuesday night's Subway Series contest against the Mets, he did not believe he would be available to play.
"Right now, I think I will be another no-go tonight," Ichiro said through his interpreter, Allen Turner. "I tried, and I think that's the best decision."
Ichiro, 40, injured his back attempting to catch a sinking line drive in Sunday's game against the Brewers at Miller Park. He was unable to take batting practice on the field Monday, a rarity for him.
"I tried everything," Ichiro said. "I tried to run, I tried to throw, I tried to swing. That's what it kind of came down to now. I wasn't able to go, so that's where I'm at."
Despite beginning the year in a limited role, Ichiro has been one of the Yankees' most productive offensive players thus far. He is batting .364 (20-for-55) with an .833 on-base-plus slugging percentage in 30 games and has logged 10 hits in his last 27 at-bats.
"Those are some of the things that you deal with," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I think when you become older, your body doesn't necessarily bounce back as quick and maybe heal quite as quick."
Girardi said that the Yankees' recent spate of injuries is reminding him of last year, when the club set a franchise record by using 56 players during the regular season.
"You've got to fight through it. That's what you've got to do," Girardi said. "No one is going to feel sorry for you; I don't feel sorry for us. We've got to fight through it and find a way to get it done. That's what you've got to do. We got a lot of practice at it last year, so we're used to it."