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When will Brandon Lowe return to Rays lineup this season?

We’ve got the latest updates for Brandon Lowe and when he’ll return in 2023.

Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays bats against the Tampa Bay Rays at Wrigley Field on May 31, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays have gotten off to a league-leading 42-19 start despite several injuries to key pieces, from Tyler Glasnow to Jeffrey Springs to Drew Rasmussen to Wander Franco to Yandy Diaz. And now, it appears we can add second baseman Brandon Lowe to that list.

The 28-year-old slugger was held out of Sunday’s win over the Boston Red Sox with a back issues, and on Monday, June 5, the team decided it would require a stint on the injured list:

Here’s the latest on Lowe’s condition and when he might return to the field in 2023.

Brandon Lowe injury update

June 11 Update — Lowe will be shut down from baseball activity for the next two-to-three weeks. He is dealing with a herniated disk in his back. It is hard to have a clear timetable since it largely is going to be dealing with pain management, but early hopes are that Lowe will be back in the majors by mid-July.

The team hasn’t yet put a timetable on Lowe’s rehab — he’ll likely undergo a battery of tests back in Tampa in the next couple of days — but it’s an especially foreboding diagnosis considering Lowe’s recent injury history. The 28-year-old looked like a budding star after popping 39 homers and driving in 99 runs with a 140 OPS+ in 2021. But he played just 65 games last season amid multiple trips to the injured list — one in mid-May, the other in early September — with back pain that sapped all of his power at the plate. Both team and player were optimistic that Lowe was healthy and ready to bounce back entering 2023, but he’d gotten off to a slow start this year, hitting just .199 with nine homers across his first 50 games.

Obviously, your back is a pretty important part of a baseball swing, and if it’s not right it can hamper everything — just ask Lowe. Given what happened a year ago, Tampa will no doubt want to err on the side of caution with its second baseman, meaning this absence could be a little bit longer as the team makes sure that he’s 100 percent before he returns; it feels pretty likely we’re dealing with more than just a couple weeks here.