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Twins concerned by Mauer's back pain

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) -- Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer has been hampered by back pain, hurting his rehab from offseason kidney surgery.

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Mauer, the reigning American League batting champion, will undergo a magnetic resonance arthogram today. Doctors will inject the All-Star catcher's back and stomach area with dye as part of the exam.

"We've got to figure out what's going on so we can get him back and get him on the field," manager Ron Gardenhire said after the Twins' 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday. "This is another effort to try to figure out where we are at and what we need to do. He's not on the field yet. He's not able to consistently go out and do anything. Concerned? Yeah."

Mauer had surgery Dec. 22 to remove a blockage from one of his kidneys and had been limited to working out in the weight room and conditioning drills. He hit .328 with nine homers and 85 RBIs last season.

Mike Redmond, the Twins' backup catcher, started against Tampa Bay and went 0-for-3, dropping his spring average to .091.

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