HOUSTON -- Rafael Furcal is hurting again.

One game into his injury rehabilitation at Triple-A Las Vegas, the shortstop was sent back to Los Angeles for a medical evaluation after experiencing discomfort in his lower back when he awoke on Tuesday.

Furcal has a bulging disk in his lower back. Although he has been reluctant to discuss the possibility of surgery, that often is the course of action when conservative measures such as core strengthening do not resolve nerve pain.

Furcal, a free agent after this season, has been on the disabled list since May 6, missing 50 games through Monday night. The Dodgers are 20-30 in those games.

He missed the final 12 games of the 2007 season with the same lower back injury and aggravated it while making a spectacular defensive play against David Wright of the Mets on May 5. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI double starting for Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday night.

When Furcal went down, he was leading the club with a .366 batting average.