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Byrnes sits out but is antsy to return

Byrnes sits out but is antsy to return

LOS ANGELES -- Eric Byrnes doesn't like to sit still, much less miss a game.

But on Thursday the D-backs outfielder was out of the starting lineup for the first time this year as the D-backs wrapped up a two-game series at Dodger Stadium.

The rest was partly because Arizona skipper Bob Melvin wanted to give Byrnes a rest, but it was also due to some leg issues that have bothered Byrnes since the start of Spring Training.

"A day is not going to help," Byrnes said. "It's just something I have to play through. I'll have the necessary healing time when the season is over."

Byrnes said he was experiencing "issues" with both legs, but declined to reveal specifics.

"It's leg issues," he said. "It's complicated."

Melvin said that the issue had more to do with his hamstrings than anything else.

According to Byrnes, he's been told the only way to fully get his legs 100 percent he would need to sit out for a couple of weeks and he has no plans to do that.

"It's not a big deal," he said. "I could play. It's important for me to be on the field. It's nothing serious enough to pull myself out. It definitely means a little more time working with [head athletic trainer] Ken [Crenshaw], but I'm going to do everything in my power to be ready to play every day."

The injury hasn't seemed to affect him at the plate where he's hitting .287 with a .517 slugging percentage and .361 on-base percentage, but it has limited him on the bases a bit. Last year, Byrnes stole 50 bases and was caught just seven times. This year he's 3-for-5 in that department.

"I know I haven't had my legs under me," Byrnes said. "It's without a doubt affecting my speed, but I can still get to balls."

So for now, at least, Byrnes will play through the pain.

"If I can play at this level, it's good enough," he said.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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