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Cruz has Grade 1 right quad strain

MLB.com @JesseSanchezMLB

PEORIA, Ariz. -- An MRI on Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz revealed a Grade 1 strain of his right quadriceps, an injury that will keep him out of game action for a few days.

"I'm too fast. My wheels, man. I have to slow down my wheels," Cruz, 37, joked. "Today, it feels really good. From yesterday to today, there is huge progress."

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- An MRI on Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz revealed a Grade 1 strain of his right quadriceps, an injury that will keep him out of game action for a few days.

"I'm too fast. My wheels, man. I have to slow down my wheels," Cruz, 37, joked. "Today, it feels really good. From yesterday to today, there is huge progress."

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Cruz, who was removed from Tuesday's game against the Rockies in the first inning because of the right quad, had missed the three previous games because of an illness. He doesn't expect the strain to slow him down very much.

"I'm going to work out upper body in the gym and legs in the pool and treatments," Cruz said. "Maybe two days without [baseball activities] and hit in the cage in a few days, maybe."

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Cruz was feeling good enough to join teammates Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano courtside at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Tuesday night to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Phoenix Suns. The trio met NBA All-Star Lebron James after the Cavaliers' 129-107 victory.

"It was good," Cruz said. "[James] was dominant. You still have to play the games."

Cruz met James last spring during the World Baseball Classic games in Miami.

"There were like five baseball teams there [Tuesday]," Cruz said. "There were a lot of people, but me, Robby and Felix were the only people to meet him."

In other injury news, Hernandez (bruised right forearm) threw a bullpen session Tuesday, and he hopes to pitch in a game this weekend. Left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales (contusion on right hand) expects to make his next scheduled start Saturday.

"I'm going to put on a glove today, but I don't think I will be catching," Gonzales said. "It's still pretty tender. Throwing without the glove is super weird by itself. I should be catching by [Thursday]."

Video: Dipoto provides an update on Spring Training injuries

Third baseman Andrew Romine, who injured his left shoulder after an awkward fall trying to make a play in the ninth inning on Tuesday, is optimistic he will return to games soon. For now, he is going to let his shoulder muscles relax.

"I went down with a little too much weight, and my shoulder subluxed out and in real fast, so it's sore today," Romine said. "It's happened before a few years ago, very similar. Just soreness the next day."

Cano remains out of the lineup as he recovers from a Grade 1 strain of his left hamstring.

"The key is being ready on March 29th," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Especially with Robby and Nelly, the experienced guys know where they are at with their swinging and their timing. I'm not worried about either one of those guys. I feel pretty confident they should be good to go when we get to Opening Day, but you never know.

"These are muscle strains, and sometimes they react differently and it may take a little bit longer than we are anticipating, but you want to be cautious at this time of the year."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Seattle Mariners, Nelson Cruz