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02/28/09 5:24 PM EST

Larish day-to-day with stiff neck

Utilityman misses back-to-back games, Sunday trip in doubt

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jeff Larish's quest to crack the Tigers' roster as a utilityman is temporarily on hold. The corner infielder and outfielder missed his second successive game Saturday with stiffness in his neck.

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Larish was slated to start at first base in Friday's game against the Blue Jays, but woke up with restricted movement in the left side of his neck. The athletic training staff was able to loosen it up a little bit, but he still felt it during pregame batting practice.

Saturday went much the same way. Larish tried to take batting practice, but had to hold up when his neck didn't feel much better.

Larish last played Thursday against the Nationals, starting at first base. He's on the travel schedule for Sunday's game against the Pirates at Bradenton, Fla., but Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he isn't sure whether Larish will make the trip.

The Tigers are trying to use Larish at both corners, and they hope to give him some playing time in the corner outfield spots.

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