Joe Panik gets cortisone shot for lower back injury

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Joe Panik has been held out of the Giants’ lineup since Saturday because of lingering inflammation in his lower back, and it doesn’t sound like the young second baseman is close to returning to action.

An MRI taken earlier this week ruled out anything major, but Giants trainer Dave Groeschner told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News on Wednesday that Panik has been administered a cortisone injection. The shot should help Panik get over the back discomfort, but it’s likely to extend his absence a little further. Kelby Tomlinson filled in at second base Wednesday and went 2-for-4 with three RBI in San Francisco’s defeat of the Braves.

Panik, 24, owns a cool .309/.374/.443 slash line 97 games this season for the Giants.