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Originally published February 24, 2012 at 8:41 PM | Page modified February 24, 2012 at 8:47 PM

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Sizemore's comeback suffers setback

Grady Sizemore's latest comeback has already stalled. The Indians' oft-injured, hard-luck outfielder is hurt again.

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PHOENIX — Grady Sizemore's latest comeback has already stalled.

The Indians' oft-injured, hard-luck outfielder is hurt again.

Sizemore, from Cascade High School in Everett, will likely miss opening day for Cleveland with a strained lower back, an injury the former All-Star suffered while fielding ground balls as he prepared for what he hoped would be a healthy season.

"I feel awful for the guy," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said Friday.

The Indians revealed Sizemore's injury one day before they hold their first full-squad workout. The club re-signed Sizemore as a free agent in November after choosing not to exercise a $9 million option on him. But the Indians, perhaps out of some loyalty to Sizemore, decided to bring him back with a one-year, $5 million contract loaded with incentives that could earn him an additional $4 million.

Now, there's no telling when Sizemore will be ready.

Antonetti, though, will never count him out.

"One thing about Grady is he is very tough minded," Antonetti said. "He is an exceptionally diligent guy. He will overcome it and I'm confident he'll be able to get back and still contribute."

Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said Sizemore will not do any baseball activities as he's monitored over the next few weeks and undergoes treatment. Soloff said Sizemore had been doing well in his rehab after knee surgery and appeared on track to possibly begin the season on time.

Sizemore has undergone five surgeries the past two years and played in only 210 games the last three seasons because of injuries. His full-speed-ahead style may have caught up with the 29-year-old, who once played in 382 consecutive games and endeared himself to Cleveland fans with his hustle.

Notes

• More than 1,000 former teammates, family members and friends of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter paid tribute to him in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., as much for his prowess on the field as for the type of man he was away from the ballpark. Carter died Feb. 16 of brain cancer. He was 57.

"I'm gonna miss that smile, I'm gonna miss every part of Gary Carter because of the way he was," said Johnny Bench, another Hall of Fame catcher. "For those who knew him, no words are necessary. For those who didn't, no words are adequate."

Manny Ramirez arrived at the Oakland Athletics' training facility in Phoenix to begin his return to baseball and said he was intent on demonstrating "I can still play." During batting practice he hit seven home runs.

• A bankruptcy judge in Dover, Del., refused to postpone a hearing on a request by the Los Angeles Dodgers to disallow a claim filed on behalf of a San Francisco Giants fan who was nearly beaten to death outside Dodger Stadium on opening day last year.

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