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Brent Morel doing all he can to avoid back surgery

Brian Bixler steals second base front Alexei Ramirez. | Paul Beaty~AP

Brian Bixler steals second base in front of Alexei Ramirez. | Paul Beaty~AP

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Updated: July 12, 2012 6:11AM



Third baseman Brent Morel might have to decide whether to have back surgery, an option he’s hoping can be avoided.

‘‘I definitely don’t want to have surgery,’’ Morel said Sunday. ‘‘I’m going to do everything I can to not do that, and hopefully with some time off, I won’t have to.’’

But Morel said his back got progressively worse as he played in eight rehab games with Class AAA Charlotte. He took himself out of a game Thursday in Toledo and returned to Chicago.

He’s going to see a spine specialist Monday in Chicago and might see another specialist in Los Angeles, ‘‘but it’s kind of all up in the air,’’ Morel said. ‘‘It felt good for a couple of days, and then it just got back to where it was and not being able to play.’’

He was originally diagnosed with a lumbar strain.

‘‘It’s just frustrating,’’ Morel said. ‘‘I know they’re doing everything they can. The [trainers] worked really hard. I guess it’s something that needs to be looked at a little more to figure out exactly what’s going on and hopefully how to fix it.

‘‘Obviously I want to play and be out there as fast as I can, but I have to be smart about it and stay away from serious surgery.’’

DH-less

The Sox travel for the first time to new Busch Stadium on Tuesday as interleague play continues through the next six games at National League parks without the designated hitter.

Adam Dunn will play left field during the stretch, except on Friday in Los Angeles when the Sox expect to face Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw.

Dunn’s average is still only .226, but he has 20 homers, and his on-base percentage is .369.

‘‘He just seems like he’s on base all the time,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘Everybody wants their average to be up higher, but I don’t want him to have his average go up without him having the power.

‘‘He has good at-bats when he goes up there. He’s not a typical 3-hole hitter, but for us, he’s on base enough to be a 3-hole hitter.’’

Double switch

Ventura, who played in both leagues, got to manage without the DH at Wrigley Field last month against the Cubs.

‘‘I can do a double switch,’’ he said with a smile.

Ventura likes interleague play.

‘‘It’s more designed for the series we have with the Cubs than anything else,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s a good thing. It breaks it up for the guys.’’



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