Neil Walker has herniated disc, shut down for year

Justin K. Aller - Getty Images

The Pirates' second baseman has decided to shut things down for the season with a back injury.

Pirates second baseman Neil Walker missed more than two weeks' worth of games from late August to mid-September with what was described as lower back tightness.

He returned to action on September 14, and went 6-for-27 (.269) in eight games; he hasn't played since September 24.

Now, with the Pirates' 2012 collapse complete, it's been revealed Walker's problems were more than just tightness:

Walker finishes his season with pretty good numbers, especially so if he had been battling these back troubles for much of the year: .280/.342/.426 with 14 home runs and 69 RBI in 129 games. Walker had been durable in 2011, playing in 159 games; the Pirates clearly missed his bat while he was out, as they went 4-11 and fell out of the NL wild-card race during that time frame.

For more on the Pirates, please visit Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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