Torii crashes into wall, day to day with bruised knee
LOS ANGELES -- For the second time in six months, Torii Hunter was injured crashing into an outfield barrier. This time, it was the short wall down the right-field line at Dodger Stadium, and it eventually forced him out of Tuesday's series opener with a bruised left knee.
Whether it sidelines him any further remains to be seen. Officially, he's listed as day to day, and manager Brad Ausmus sounds inclined to rest him Wednesday with an off-day coming Thursday. Hunter, however, sounded like he might push to play.
"My knee swelled up on me," Hunter said. "They actually got some of the swelling down. Tomorrow I'll come into the clubhouse and if it feels good, I think I'm going to play. But I'm going to play it safe."
Hunter went sliding feet-first into the wall chasing a second-inning foul ball sliced down the line by Dodgers catcher Tim Federowicz. The ball landed in the seats, but Hunter didn't, with his entire left side taking the brunt of the impact.
"It was a tough play," Hunter said. "It's weird over there, because you have the foul line right next to the wall. You just don't want to give up on a ball because it might stay fair. So you do whatever you can, whatever maneuver you can come up with, to try to keep that ball from bouncing on that line.
"But there's no room in foul territory. Once you pass that line, you're going to hit the wall. Just the style that I play, it's going to play rough."
Hunter stayed on the ground for a couple of minutes while head athletic trainer Kevin Rand jogged out from the dugout.
Rand spent most of his time flexing Hunter's knee. Hunter stayed in the game and took a called third strike in the third inning. The swelling in the knee, however, built up until he could barely move it. Don Kelly was spotted with a bat in his hands in the top half of the inning, presumably to hit for Hunter if his spot came up. Once the inning ended, Kelly took the field in Hunter's spot.
"I couldn't run anymore," Hunter said. "It started swelling up. When you hit something, your adrenaline is good, let's go. And about 30 minutes later, it just swelled up and I couldn't run. It was smart to come out."
Hunter, of course, provided one of the most famous photos in recent postseason history last October when he went flipping over the right-field fence and into the bullpen at Fenway Park trying to catch David Ortiz's game-tying grand slam in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. He remained in that game, but was bruised and hampered to some extent for the rest of the series and admitted later he played through considerable discomfort.
"I think this hurt worse," Hunter said. "I felt that pain for two months, of course, because it was my total body, but this hurts."