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LaRoche ‘felt paralyzed’ when back locked up; on mend now

Adam LaRoche is sidelined with a sore back. AP

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Adam LaRoche’s back felt considerably better Monday, and considering how he felt after it locked up on him during an at-bat Saturday, he couldn’t be more pleased.

“Much better today, much better,” LaRoche said Monday morning. “I’ve never had a complete lockup. I’ve talked to guys who have had it – my brother fought it his whole career. It’s not fun – I literally felt paralyzed when it first happened.”

LaRoche, the Sox’ designated hitter, went straight to the trainer’s table after taking a swing during the Sox’ Cactus League game in Surprise. He wasn’t sure if the swing or his initial move after the swing, or a combination of the two, set it off.

“Luckily we got treatment on it quick,” LaRoche said. “Took some muscle-relaxer type stuff and it’s night and day compared to two days ago. That’s the good thing. When I first did it, as bad as it felt, I was thinking two weeks.

“I wouldn’t have guessed two days later I’d be feeling this good. I was able to get a small workout in today and a lot of treatment and it’s night and day.”

LaRoche guessed he’d begin swinging lightly “in a couple of days” and proceed accordingly.

The downer for LaRoche is that he felt great coming to camp and hit a home run on Thursday. Manager Robin Ventura talked up LaRoche’s fitness level and the “life” in his bat. LaRoche is in the second year of his two-year, $25 million contract and is hoping to bounce back from a rough season in which he hit .207 with 12 homers.

“It feels really good,” he said of his swing. “It feels noticeably different – until this happens. Physically I felt great until that one swing. I felt great coming into camp. Felt strong, and my bat felt good.”

The Sox’ signing of Austin Jackson on Sunday added depth to their outfield depth and also added to their DH options.

“It could be a lot worse,” LaRoche said. “If this was the first week of season they’re forced with trying to make a DL decision.”