Kinsler returns to lineup as back issue improves

Kinsler returns to lineup as back issue improves

KANSAS CITY -- Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was back in the lineup against the Royals on Monday after missing Sunday's 8-3 victory over the Indians with stiffness in his lower back.

Kinsler said the back flared up on him a couple of weeks ago, but Sunday was the first time it forced him out of the lineup. He walked into manager Ron Washington's office on Monday morning and said he was ready to go.

"I don't know what it is, but today it's fine," Kinsler said. "I just need to try and stay on top of it and make sure it doesn't happen again. It's good today. I probably could have played yesterday."

Instead, the Rangers started Jurickson Profar at second base in his first game in the Major Leagues. Profar went 2-for-4, including a home run in his first at-bat. But Washington wasn't ready to put Profar back in the lineup on Monday.

"We've got a heckuva team," Washington said. "Kinsler is ready to go. You're going to see Profar play again. I want to see everything he has to offer, but I'm not going to create opportunities. The game will dictate that. But I want to see everything he can do."

Mike Olt was also back in the lineup on Monday, as the Rangers faced their first left-hander in a week with Bruce Chen starting for the Royals. Olt is dealing with inflammation in his right heel, but Washington said he is good to go.