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Royals camp notebook | Medical updates on Meche, Butler

SURPRISE, Ariz. | Gil Meche reported no day-after soreness in his previously ailing lower back Monday after throwing 37 pitches Sunday in his spring debut.

The middle portion of his back was another matter.

“My lower back feels good,” Meche said, “but my middle back feels like I got the (stuffing) beat out of me.”

No concern, though.

“That’s just normal soreness from throwing for the first time,” he said. “That’s not a problem. The important thing is my lower back feels fine.”

The Royals delayed Meche’s first spring outing when some soreness surfaced a week ago in his lower back. He was limited Sunday to one inning _ but required 37 pitches to get through it.

“I pitched four innings,” he said. “I just did it in one inning.”

Butler recovering

The day-after report on Billy Butler’s injured left hand is a severe bone bruise. He was hit in the fourth inning Sunday by Angels right-hander Nick Adenhart in the Royals’ 6-4 loss in Tempe.

“They said they’re going to go off what I tell them (in terms of availability),” Butler said. “I’m going to try to be in there (Tuesday). If it was the regular season, I’d be in there today.”

It seems more likely that Butler will miss at least a few days as a precaution.

Cruz wavering on WBC

Reliever Juan Cruz is back to saying he isn’t sure about playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Cruz had said Sunday that he didn’t plan to play in the 16-nation tournament.

Cruz took part Monday in camp workouts and is tentatively scheduled for a bullpen workout Tuesday and a session of throwing to hitters on Thursday.

Costa in lineup Outfielder Shane Costa is set Monday for his first game action since July 9 at Class AAA Omaha. He underwent surgery last summer to repair an injured right wrist.

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