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03/27/10 4:39 PM ET

Escobar, Ross out as precaution

Shortstop expects to return to action vs. Nats on Sunday

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar woke up Saturday morning with his back a little sore, and he decided against playing vs. the Nationals at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex.

Escobar, whose back stiffens up from time to time, also missed Friday's game against the Tigers, but he said that was a scheduled off-day. Neither Escobar nor Bobby Cox believed it was anything serious, and the Braves' manager eloquently described his shortstop as "out of whack in the back."

Escobar said he expects to start against the Nationals in Viera, Fla., on Sunday, but Cox said he wasn't sure.

"We'll see how he feels in the morning," the skipper said.

In other injury news, backup catcher David Ross continues to be held out because of a tweaked groin he suffered on a pickoff play against the Pirates on Thursday.

When talking about the injury on Friday, Cox said Ross could catch right now if he had to. Before Saturday's game, the skipper said Ross could make his return on Monday.

In 12 Grapefruit League games, Ross is batting .357 (10-for-28) with eight RBIs. Escobar is batting at a .325 clip (13-for-40) with one homer and nine RBIs in 15 games.

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