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Villanueva exits with ankle contusion

Padres' rookie third baseman will get a day of rest
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Christian Villanueva's standout rookie season took an unfortunate turn during Sunday's 6-3 victory over Cincinnati.

The Padres' slugging third baseman fouled a ball off his left ankle and exited the game immediately, though he isn't expected to miss significant time. He was diagnosed with a left-ankle contusion and likely won't play Monday.

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SAN DIEGO -- Christian Villanueva's standout rookie season took an unfortunate turn during Sunday's 6-3 victory over Cincinnati.

The Padres' slugging third baseman fouled a ball off his left ankle and exited the game immediately, though he isn't expected to miss significant time. He was diagnosed with a left-ankle contusion and likely won't play Monday.

View Full Game Coverage

Villanueva fouled a ball off the same area of his lower leg on Thursday, but remained in that game.

"No fracture is what I'm hearing," Padres manager Andy Green said. "Just a bruise. We'll evaluate him to see where he is. Tomorrow probably is going to be a good day to be down, but he might be available off the bench, ready to go. Just in the course of things, we'll give him a day [off] tomorrow, then come back against the lefty the next day."

Video: CIN@SD: Green on Villanueva's ankle injury

Should Villanueva miss any time, it would be a blow for the Padres. His 1.2 WAR, according to Baseball-Reference.com, is second on the team this season, trailing only Eric Hosmer. Villanueva is hitting .241/.305/.546 with 15 homers, second most in the National League. His hot start has thrust him squarely into the NL Rookie of the Year conversation.

The Padres called upon Cory Spangenberg to fill in for Villanueva on Sunday, and Spangenberg would later hit a crucial insurance homer in the bottom of the eighth. He is expected to start Monday in Villanueva's place.

Video: CIN@SD: Spangenberg smashes a solo homer in the 8th

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Christian Villanueva