Putz, Bloomquist slowed by back problems

Putz, Bloomquist slowed by back problems

PHOENIX -- D-backs closer J.J. Putz was not available for Wednesday's game with the Dodgers due to a stiff back.

"I took a muscle relaxer [Tuesday] night," Putz said. "It's definitely better today than it was [Tuesday]."

Setup man David Hernandez closed out Tuesday's game to pick up the save, and he may need to do the same Wednesday.

"It's not very good today," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Putz's back. "It's improved, but he's not pain free."

Speaking of back issues, shortstop Willie Bloomquist is still bothered by lower back pain.

"I'm still a little ways from being able to play," Bloomquist said. "I'm doing whatever I can in terms of treatment to get it better. It just takes time. How much time? I don't know."

Catcher Henry Blanco, who has been out since Aug. 6 with a sprained left thumb said it was doubtful that he would be able to return before the end of the season.

"It's coming around," Blanco said. "I'm working hard on it, the trainers are doing everything they can. I don't like being injured and not playing. It's part of the game, part of the job, though."