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Nevin could be back by opening day...USA Today news article

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Nevin could be back by opening day...USA Today news article

Postby Juhlz » Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:57 pm

Nevin suffers strained shoulder
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — San Diego Padres slugger Phil Nevin has a strained left shoulder and is expected to miss about four weeks, a timetable that could have him back by opening day.
The first baseman was hurt diving for a liner in a spring training game against Anaheim on Sunday night, a year to the day he dislocated the same shoulder, which kept him sidelined until July 23 last season.

Nevin had an MRI in San Diego on Monday that revealed the strain. The area that was surgically repaired last spring was still intact, the team said.

"I wasn't really worried about diagnosis, I was more worried about when I was going to play again and what I'd have to do to get there," Nevin, the Padres' cleanup hitter, said in San Diego before flying back to Arizona. "Hopefully everything goes well and I'll be able to play opening day."

Said manager Bruce Bochy: "Of the two options, we got the best one. He might have reinjured the surgery."

Nevin is expected to have his arm in a sling for seven to 10 days, then begin his rehabilitation. Going by the team's timetable, he could be back by opening day April 5 at Los Angeles. The Padres open their new ballpark April 8 against San Francisco.

Nevin was hurt in the second inning Sunday night. He immediately left the game and covered his face with his hands as he walked back to the dugout. He left the ballpark with trainer Todd Hutcheson.

Nevin, 33, dislocated his left shoulder on March 7 last year while diving for a ball in left field. The team thought at first that he'd miss the whole season, but his recovery went well and he played in 59 games, hitting .279 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI.

The year before, he was limited to 107 games by a strained left elbow and a broken left arm.

In the offseason, Nevin was shifted to first base, partly in the hope that he would be less prone to injury there.

After working hard to come back from the previous two injuries, Nevin's wondering what's going on.

"Obviously there's something wrong technique-wise," he said. "I thought it was a ball I could get to. A couple of pitchers came up to me last night and said, 'Hey, let that go. You're more important to us than a lousy leadoff single that goes through the infield.'

"I always told myself I'd never change the way I play, but now I have to start talking about the more I do damage to this part of my body, how many times do I do that before I'm not able to play again?"

Said general manager Kevin Towers: "I'm not real pleased about what happened last night. I was hoping we'd get through spring without losing anybody for any amount of time. I'm hoping that's it and I hope that Phil's rehab goes very, very well and we're able to get him back at some point in that first homestand. That would be great."

Bochy said Nevin could be replaced by Brian Buchanan, Jeff Cirillo or Xavier Nady. He said Ryan Klesko would remain in left field and not be moved back to first.

"We're not going to make any drastic changes because we're counting on Phil being ready in about four weeks," Bochy said.
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