Miguel Sano was sent back to the Twin Cities on Thursday to have his ailing back checked.
He missed all of June with a hamstring problem. I know from my personal experience that back issues are linked to hamstring problems. The rehab program I was put on for my back was in large part designed to strengthen and stretch the hamstrings. I also know that when I am lax in following that regimen, back soreness isn't far behind.
I started noticing this as a fan soon after my encounter with a herniated disc: Athletes who miss time with a hamstring or back issue tend to soon miss time with the other. So it's no real surprise to me that Sano now has a troublesome lower back.
A third connected element are the quads. My exercises include a set for working the quads, because making the hamstrings too strong in relation to the quads leads to problems also.
Joe Mauer used to go through a series of back and leg exercises on the field before warmups on days that he caught that I watched carefully when I had the opportunity. It was very much like my prescribed routine, only ramped up and more rigorous. I haven't seen him doing them since his move to first base, which doesn't mean something like them isn't part of his routine elsewhere, just that he's not doing them on the field before games. But he's having issues with his quads now, which can lead to further problems with the back or hamstrings.
Please note: I am not accusing Sano or Mauer of inadequate conditioning or physical prep work. I am not privy to their workouts or exercises. I am merely noting that one particular problem in the physical core frequently leads to others. Missing time to get a problem solved is far better than letting the chain continue to unfold.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to do my back exercises.