Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/8/12

Neil Walker missed his 10th consecutive straight game Friday night with lower back tightness and his return to the Pittsburgh Pirates' lineup is still uncertain.

The Pirates hoped the switch-hitting second baseman would be ready to play in their 12-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs. However, he is still feeling pain in his lower left side and that makes batting left-handed difficult.

Walker is able to field ground balls. He also took 30 right-handed swings off a tee before the game but has yet to be cleared to take live batting practice.

Walker won't return to the lineup until he has at least a couple of rounds of batting practice and the Pirates don't have a timetable for when that might be.

"The moving up and down, left and right hasn't been an issue," Walker said. "The biggest hurdle is going to be swinging."

While back specialists have told Walker that his condition shouldn't be chronic, he still wants to be careful.

"It's not an ankle, it's not a wrist, it's not something you can tape up and take some Advil," Walker said. "The back is very delicate. I want to make sure that I feel very confident in what I'm doing before I step back in the box."

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