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Josh Willingham still hurting

Josh Willingham won't be rejoining the team anytime soon .

Outfielder Josh Willingham said there is a chance he will seek another doctor's opinion for his injured back. Willingham, who is on the disabled list because of a strained lower back, said it could be late this month or June before he is able to return to action.

That's a ''best-case scenario,'' he said.

Another possibility is another epidural to relieve the pain. Worst case, he said, would be surgery.

'But no doctor has ever said to me, `You're a candidate for surgery,' '' he said.

Willingham said he aggravated the injury, which has kept him from playing since April 27, while taking batting practice Monday.

''I'm going to maybe see a doctor just to get another opinion,'' Willingham said. ``But I really think I just did too much on it too early because I really wanted to get back on the field.''

Definitely not good news.  If I had to bet, I put my money down on surgery some time in the future, but not necessarily this season.  The back problems have just been too chronic to avoid going under the knife at some point.  (Note: I am not a doctor nor ever went to medical school, but I did take a cat to the vet once.)

But whatever happens, Gonzo is the starting left fielder for the time being.  And that is mighty fine replacement in the short run.  However, I still want to see Carroll get some starts.