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Braun returns to Brewers' lineup

Braun returns to lineup

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun was back in the Brewers' lineup on Friday. This time, he hopes to stick.

Braun, who missed two more starts earlier this week because of tightness in his lower back, returned to left field and his usual No. 3 hole for the start of a three-game series against the Pirates at Miller Park. He has grown somewhat weary of his daily health updates.

"I'm good," Braun said before the cameras and microphones could converge on him. "It's fine. I'm glad to be back in there."

Trouble is, he said the same thing a few days earlier. Braun returned to the starting lineup on Sunday in Los Angeles after missing the previous seven starts with what he described as an intercostal strain. The intercostals are muscles between the ribs that aid in respiration.

"I feel a lot better now than I did then," Braun said.

Brewers manager Ned Yost downplayed the injury once again on Friday, insisting the proper adjective was "tight" instead of "strained" and even disputing the term "injury." Yost said Braun could have played on Wednesday against Houston, but instead was given the extra two days to rest. The Brewers were off on Thursday.

"He was ready to go [Wednesday]," Yost said. "I told him to make sure that when he's ready to play, and ready to play nine [innings], come see me. He's ready to go."

Braun entered Friday's game as the Brewers' leader with 31 home runs and 86 RBIs.

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

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