Anderson said he has not had a similar injury before, but it has bothered him for the past week. He has been given no timetable for how long it might take and is currently receiving a general course of treatment that includes ice, stretching and anti-inflammatory drugs. Normal recovery time is about two weeks.
The 33-year-old went on the disabled list for the first time in 2004 when he missed 43 games for undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis in his upper back. Anderson also missed 20 games last season for a lower back strain and tendinitis in his left knee. Anderson said the injuries are not related, but both he and the club will proceed slowly.
The window is getting tighter, though, for Anderson to get ready for Opening Day in Seattle on April 3. There are 18 games remaining this spring, including the Freeway Series with the Dodgers and one split-squad date March 30.
Anderson would not put a figure on how many at-bats he will need to get comfortable at the plate, but 40 is generally recognized as a minimum. He did have an opinion, though, on where he wants to play.
"I don't think about DHing," Anderson said. "I think about playing my position, and that is left field."
Back on track: John Lackey was much sharper in his second spring start.
The right-hander walked four in one inning of work last Friday against the Cubs, but Wednesday he tossed three scoreless innings while allowing a hit and a walk in the Angels' 8-5 win over the Rangers.
"I could tell warming up that I felt stronger," said Lackey, who was slowed by right shoulder stiffness earlier in camp. "I felt like [the ball] was coming out of my hand good today. That was a good sign."
Lackey was close to normal velocity, but said his curveball is not as sharp as he would like. After throwing 39 pitches in the game, Lackey went to the bullpen to bring his pitch count to an even 50. He also said he is confident he will open the season on schedule.
Welcome back: With Venezuela's elimination from the World Baseball Classic, right-handers Kelvim Escobar and Francisco Rodriguez, infielder Edgardo Alfonzo and outfielder/DH Juan Rivera will be returning to camp.
Escobar took the loss in the 2-1 defeat to the Dominican Republic when he allowed an unearned run on Ramon Hernandez's passed ball in the seventh inning Tuesday. Alfonzo and Rivera should return to action immediately, while the club will evaluate the pitchers when they arrive Thursday, specifically Escobar.
"We'll see how he feels when he comes back. There are a couple of things penciled in. He can throw in 4-5 days or we can get him re-acclimated," manager Mike Scioscia said of Escobar. "He got stretched out [in the Classic]. He showed that he can do that."
Sent down: Shortstop Brandon Wood, right-hander David Austen and catchers Bobby Wilson and Michael Collins were reassigned to Minor League camp.
Wood came into camp with a bit of fanfare. Not only was he the Angels' co-Minor League Player of the Year last year along with Howie Kendrick, but his power and size have drawn comparisons to Cal Ripken Jr.
He went just 1-for-10 in nine spring games but left an impression as he homered in his last at-bat, an opposite-field shot at Surprise Stadium, the same ballpark where he played this fall in the Arizona Fall League. Wood also won over the staff with his attitude.
"Out of all the youngsters we had in camp, he was the most impressive in a lot of ways," Scioscia said. "The way he carried himself and the way he was in camp. He and Erick Aybar showed they can be Major League shortstops. [Wood] has the chance to be a terrific defensive shortstop."
Asides: Vladimir Guerrero launched his first home run of the spring, a solo shot to left. Casey Kotchman and Orlando Cabrera also homered Wednesday. ... Brendan Donnelly walked three batters, his first walks in five innings this spring. ... Joe Saunders allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks in three innings.
On deck: The Angels will host the Cubs at 12:05 p.m. PT on Thursday, with right-hander Jeff Weaver scheduled to face Chicago left-hander Rich Hill. Jered Weaver is slated to start against the A's on Friday in Phoenix.