Neil Walker 2B PIT 1 Month

Walker (back) will likely be in the lineup for the Pirates' next three games, starting Sunday, but will have Wednesday off, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

The Pirates want to make sure that Walker will be able to stay on the field for the rest of the season, albeit with scheduled days off to prevent his back issues from flaring up. Jayson Nix seems like a probable replacement when Walker stays in the dugout.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 1 Month

Walker is out of the Pirates' lineup Saturday against the Nationals.

Although Walker was able to play a full nine innings Friday in his return from a five-game absence, the team evidently feels he's not quite ready to start on consecutive days. Jayson Nix will start in his place Saturday, but look for Walker to return to the keystone for the series finale against Washington.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 1 Month

Walker went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored Friday in just his third start since July.

Walker made it through the entire game, a good sign for the second baseman. With Andrew McCutchen on the DL for at least another four days, the Pirates will rely on Walker to provide punch in the middle of the order -- he hit cleanup against a right-handed starter Friday, but will likely bat lower Saturday with southpaw Gio Gonzalez on the mound for Washington.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 1 Month

Walker (back) is in the lineup for Friday's game against the Nationals, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Back issues have kept Walker from 10 of the team's last 12 games, but he was available off the bench Thursday and will return to the lineup Friday to take on right-hander Tanner Roark. Walker will slot back in as the cleanup hitter, a spot in which he's hit .260/.325/.521 with four homers in 73 at-bats this season.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 1 Month

Walker (back) could return to the starting lineup Friday against the Nationals, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Walker was waiting in the on-deck circle Thursday as a pinch-hitter. Manager Clint Hurdle believes that could return to second base very soon. "We're optimistic he might be more than that Friday," manager Clint Hurdle said. He's made just one start since Aug. 2 because of a back injury that the Pirates have never specifically identified. Walker is sitting on a .277/.347/.456 line with 16 homers and 50 RBI.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 1 Month

Walker (back) remains hopeful he won't require a trip to the disabled list, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports.

Walker has missed eight straight games for the Pirates, but insists on continuing to go through with his regular pre-game routine. The hope is that one of these days he'll respond well to taking batting practice, and be ready to be re-inserted into the lineup. If he does end up requiring a DL stint, it could be backdated to Aug. 10, as he made a pinch-hit appearance on Aug. 9. Michael Martinez and Jayson Nix have been covering second base in his absence.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 1 Month

Walker (back) is once again out of the lineup Wednesday vs. the Tigers, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Walker will miss his eighth straight game since leaving last Tuesday's start with back tightness. The Pirates have been encouraged by his progress and believe he will be able to avoid the DL, which seemed to be verified by manager Clint Hurdle's choice to use Walker as a pinch-hitter Saturday. While the team waits for Walker to nurse himself back to the health, Jayson Nix will step into the lineup at second base in his stead.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 1 Month

Walker (back) is not in the lineup Monday.

He stated earlier that he believes he will avoid a DL stint, but he will nonetheless be out of the starting lineup for the sixth straight day. He could be available off the bench Monday against the Tigers, but Jayson Nix will get the start at the keystone.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 1 Month

Walker (back) believes he will avoid a stint on the disabled list, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Walker was initially believed to be headed to the disabled list, but he may end up avoiding the designation. The veteran's current plan is to take it day by day. Walker has also seen a back specialist, and nothing stuck out as a particularly bad problem.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 1 Month

Walker (back) was scratched from Sunday's lineup and is likely headed to the DL, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

With Walker's back acting up yet again, the Pirates will likely be forced to make a move, and they will not be able to backdate a stint after Walker was used as a pinch hitter Saturday night. The 28-year-old has been limited to just three games so far this month, and he will be ineligible to return until Aug. 25 if a move is indeed made. Jayson Nix is starting at second base Sunday, though Josh Harrison figures to see time at the position as well.