07/10/2004 11:07 PM ET
Griffey strains right hamstring
All-Star outfielder returns to Cincinnati for MRI
By Todd Lorenz / MLB.com
|Ken Griffey Jr. walks off the field after straining his hamstring on Saturday. (Peter Zuzga/AP)
MILWAUKEE -- Ken Griffey Jr. left Saturday's game against the Brewers with a strained right hamstring.
He left for Cincinnati before the game ended, and will be examined by Reds medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek at Beacon Orthopedic Center Sunday morning.
"He was sore when he came off the field and said that he really didn't feel it too much when he was walking, which is a positive thing," Reds trainer Mark Mann said. "We felt that it was in his best interest to get him back to Cincinnati as soon as possible so that Dr. Kremcheck could examine him and he could have an MRI."
It's not the first leg injury Griffey's had to deal with this season.
The All-Star center fielder recently missed five starts due to cramping in his left calf, and sat out Cincinnati's season opener with a right calf strain.
Griffey was chasing a ball off the bat of Milwaukee's Brady Clark into the right-center field gap at Miller Park when he was hurt. He appeared in position to make the catch, but went into an awkward run as the ball glanced off his glove.
"I saw him going into the gap and I thought he was running really well until I saw him take that last step," Reds captain Barry Larkin said. "I thought he was gonna catch that ball until I saw him pull up. Then i was like, 'Oh no.'"
Griffey managed to retrieve the ball and fire it to the infield, holding Clark to a triple, before Mann and manager Dave Miley ran out of the dugout to remove him from the game.
"He walked off the field OK," Miley said. "Hopefully, that's a good sign."
Already playing with a 24-man roster because Ryan Freel is in Cincinnati getting treatment for a left knee injury, Miley was forced to do some pretty hefty defensive maneuvering. Miley moved Adam Dunn from first base to left field, Wily Mo Pena from right to center, Jacob Cruz from left to right and replaced Griffey with Tim Hummel at first base.
After being limited to 234 games over the past three seasons in Cincinnati because of various injuries, Griffey has played in 80 of 87 games this season. He left Saturday, hitting .251 with 20 home runs and 60 RBIs.
Griffey is scheduled to start in center field and compete in the Home Run Derby at this year's All-Star festivities, but that will be dependant on the extent of the injury.
"We're really not going to know a whole lot, as far as severity, until we see the results of the MRI tomorrow," Mann said.
Todd Lorenz is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.