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Montero (back) to DL; Federowicz to join club today from Iowa

Montero last week in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Three weeks after Kyle Schwarber suffered a season-ending knee injury, the Cubs’ catching corps took another hit when the Cubs decided Thursday to place starter Miguel Montero on the disabled list because of persistent back soreness.

Tim Federowicz, a veteran of 89 big-league games who was signed over the winter for big-league depth, was to be added to the roster and join the team at some point Thursday, the Cubs said.

Backup David Ross, who was in the starting lineup Thursday and is scheduled to catch Jon Lester on Friday, will share starting duties with Federowicz until Montero returns, manager Joe Maddon said.

Montero, who spent four weeks on the disable list in 2013 with a similar injury, hasn’t played since Sunday. He said he felt the back start to tighten during his two starts over the weekend in Cincinnati.

Montero said he had an MRI but did not have the results back Thursday morning.

“I’m pretty sure it’s maybe a couple bulging disks that I’ve had there in the past,” he said, “which is nothing crazy, but it’s there. It gets inflamed, and that’s when it starts to spasm in your back, and we need to get the inflammation down and go from there.

“I did have this before but it was even worse before. So I don’t want it to get to that point. I’d much rather take it easy for a couple of days, and see how it goes. AT this point it’s been four days, and it’s still pretty tight.”

Montero, whose DL move would be backdated to Monday, said he could have pushed it and played if the team needed him off the bench. “But what if I aggravate it even more?” he said. “It’s early in the year. I’d much rather it be 15 days than a month or month and a half on the DL.”

Federowicz, 28, originally a seventh-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox, spent parts of four seasons in the majors with the Dodgers, hitting .194 with five home runs (247 at-bats). He spent all of last season in the minors.