Punto sits with lower back bruise

Punto sits with lower back bruise

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers infielder Nick Punto is available to play on Tuesday night against the Angels, but was held out of the starting lineup because of a lower back bruise.

Punto said he was "a little stiff," but expects to return to the starting lineup as soon as Wednesday.

"It's nothing I'm worried about," Punto said before receiving treatment. "It's just a bone bruise. I thought it would be more sore than it was."

The veteran, playing shortstop, injured his back in the second inning on Monday, when he somersaulted over Angels baserunner Erick Aybar and landed on his back during a force play at second base. Punto remained in the game until the sixth inning.

Punto felt good enough to take batting practice in the cage before Tuesday's game.

Luis Cruz started at shortstop in place of Punto on Tuesday, his first start at the position since April 27.

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