Walker remains out of lineup but avoids MRI exam

Walker remains out of lineup but avoids MRI exam

Walker remains out of lineup but avoids MRI exam

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates second baseman Neil Walker received treatment Monday afternoon after exiting Saturday's game against the Cubs with discomfort in his right side.

Walker said Sunday he had an MRI exam scheduled for Monday, but a team spokesman later said he did not need one.

Walker got a "heat and treat," and manager Clint Hurdle said he wanted to get the 27-year-old out on the field before Monday's game to "do some things with the bat." Brandon Inge started at second base Monday against the Athletics.

Hurdle does not like to think hypothetically, he said, so he did not indicate any kind of plan moving forward if Walker were to land on the disabled list.

Inge can play second, and Josh Harrison, who has had three different stints with the Bucs this season, has played mostly second base for Triple-A Indianapolis. Jordy Mercer played there when Walker dislocated his finger in early May, and he has since taken over for Clint Barmes as the full-time shortstop.

"I think we're way in front of ourselves; I'll deal with it one day at a time," Hurdle said. "The answer today might not be the answer tomorrow."

Walker has a .244/.347/.384 slash line this season, playing in 72 games. He has six home runs and 26 RBIs.

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