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08/19/09 7:41 PM ET

Varitek bothered by neck spasms

Catcher out of Sox's lineup for second successive game

TORONTO -- Jason Varitek still doesn't know exactly what caused the neck spasms that have kept him out of Boston's lineup for two successive games, but he is feeling slightly better.

"It just spasmed up, and it hasn't had a whole lot of movement," Varitek said Wednesday. "[I] had it adjusted yesterday. ... I'm a little better today, and I have a little better range.

"I'm a lot looser than I was yesterday."

Varitek was originally penciled into Tuesday's lineup, but he was a late scratch when the neck spasm flared up. The catcher said he's been dealing with soreness in his neck "at different ranges" for a couple of months.

"But not to where I couldn't move my head," he added.

Despite the pain and lack of motion in his neck, Varitek was still available off the bench as the team's backup catcher on Wednesday. He assured reporters he could play if he needed to, but he was not sure if he would be well enough to be back in the starting lineup Thursday.

"I don't know," Varitek said. "It's got to advance from today, but I can play with just about anything, so I can play if I need to."

Varitek has consulted a number of people on the neck issue, and when asked if he had seen a chiropractor, massage therapist, etc., he offered this simple statement: "All of the above.

"Trainers, ice, heat -- I don't smell real good right now. After the adjustment I got yesterday, hopefully it'll just calm the spasm down."

Varitek added that he's not sure what treatment he will pursue.

Erika Gilbert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.