CHICAGO -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was back in the dugout Tuesday night after an overnight bout of back spasms sent him to a Chicago emergency room. His back was so severely locked up, he feared he would miss the Brewers' game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
"That's what I was worried about," Roenicke said. "If I would have stayed at the hotel, I wouldn't have been here."
Instead, he left the team hotel at about 5:30 a.m. CT and sought medication and treatment. By 9:30 a.m., Roenicke was back at the hotel, and by Tuesday afternoon, he was back on the bench at frozen Wrigley Field.
He intended to manage the game, and if he continued feeling as well as he did when the Brewers took the field to stretch, about 90 minutes before the first pitch, he planned to make pitching changes as usual.
"It's been bothering me for a few days, but not enough to -- I could still throw, hit fungoes," Roenicke said. "It was just a bad position in bed, watching a movie, and I couldn't move."
Roenicke has had back trouble before, from an injury in his playing days, but he said this one was different. It was related to his sciatic nerve.
His return to health qualified as great news for the Brewers, considering the team's epic spate of early-season issues. Besides the fact the team entered Tuesday's game with a 2-4 record and had already replaced its closer, Roenicke joined a growing injury report that has already claimed one first baseman (Mat Gamel) for the season, another one (Corey Hart) for the first two months of the season and that features five players on the 15-day disabled list, including two in third baseman Aramis Ramirez and reliever Chris Narveson who were on the Opening Day roster.
"I guess it's contagious," Roenicke joked.