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Giles removed from game with back pain

Ken Giles was visited by a trainer and manager Ryne Sandberg during the middle of an at-bat in the eighth inning in Dunedin. He was removed from the game with a back injury. Afterward he said it was minor, and nothing that would keep him off the Opening Day roster.

There isn't a tremendous amount of excitement surrounding the Phillies with the regular season just days away, but the one player who literally provided must-see TV as a rookie last season give fans reason for hope for the future, if not the 2015 season.

And then Ken Giles was removed from Tuesday's game in Dunedin after a visit from a member of the training staff.

It's still too early to predict what will happen in the coming days, but shortly after exiting in the eighth inning against the Blue Jays with back pain, Giles seemed unconcerned. The mild pain, he said, is in his mid-back, and on the left side.

"It's just tightness," Giles said. "It's just stiff. It doesn't hurt. I'm able to move around and stuff like that, but I'm not really concerned about it."

So you're not worried about being good to go when the Opening Day roster is set this Sunday?

No," Giles said, "not at all."

The Phillies could certainly choose to proceed with caution. There is no reasn to rush Giles back to the field if he's not 100 percent healthy, especially not at the beginning of a 162-game season.

But Giles didn't seem like he'd have to convince management of his health, either.

"No, I don't think they'll be too pushy on that because they know I'll speak the truth," Giles said. "Every day they always want to know how I'm feeling and stuff like that, but I'm not really concerned about that kind of stuff."

Manager Ryne Sandberg said Giles would be checked out by the team's medical staff when the club returned to Clearwater. Giles, who has a 6.23 ERA in 9 appearances this spring, hit 95 MPH on the radar gun on Tuesday.

"I'm a little concerned with (this injury), a little concerned with that," Sandberg said. "It's hard to tell if that has to do with his lower velocity. I'm just waiting to see him get checked out, waiting to see what it is."

Giles, who regularly hit 100-MPH as a rookie last season, was content with hovering in the mid-90s this spring. Late-inning relievers typically see a slight uptick in their fastballs when they jump from the exhibition season to the regular season.

"For me, I think that's perfect where I need to be," Giles said. "I don't want to be too in shape when I go in the season then when the season goes on I kind of wear down. So around where I'm at right now I think it's going to be perfect. Then I can just continue to build up during the season."