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Stanton determined to play rest of season

Back early from groin strain, slugger pushing through pain to try to help Marlins
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- Beating the odds and returning from a serious injury in three weeks was Step 1 for Giancarlo Stanton. Playing through the rest of the season is another objective for the Marlins' right fielder.

Stanton, reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, said on Wednesday that he intends to keep playing until the season ends, even if Miami is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

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MIAMI -- Beating the odds and returning from a serious injury in three weeks was Step 1 for Giancarlo Stanton. Playing through the rest of the season is another objective for the Marlins' right fielder.

Stanton, reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, said on Wednesday that he intends to keep playing until the season ends, even if Miami is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

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"I'd still play," Stanton said. "But I would chill out on pushing through the pain."

Stanton has made a miraculous recovery from a Grade 3 left groin strain that he sustained on Aug. 13. The early reports were that he'd miss 6-8 weeks, with the last week of the regular season being the most optimistic date to be back.

In roughly three weeks, the slugger was activated, even though, for now, it's in a pinch-hitting capacity.

"I just worked at it," Stanton said of his recovery. "All day, stretched and iced. Rehab. Stretch. Ice. I'd do it morning, night, double time."

Another motivating force is the fact the Marlins have slipped in the standings -- to the point where they are in danger of being completely out of contention.

"Watching this was another thing that made me want to come back a little sooner," Stanton said.

Stanton on Tuesday delivered a pinch-hit single in the fifth inning of Miami's 4-3 loss to the Phillies. He has been cleared to run the bases, but manager Don Mattingly took no chances and replaced him with pinch-runner Robert Andino.

Video: PHI@MIA: Mattingly talks Urena, Stanton and bullpen

Stanton on Wednesday was active during batting practice, moving around freely, running the bases and fielding balls in the outfield. Stanton has not ruled out playing in right field before the end of the month.

"I was able to hit pretty soon afterwards, which was pretty crazy to me, too," Stanton said.

One of the reasons Stanton is eager to push himself is the muscle has already been torn off the bone, and basically the damage to the area has already been done. Last week, when the Marlins were in New York facing the Mets, Stanton was examined by a hip specialist, who gave him more peace of mind that he could return quickly.

Although he is moving around without any issues in batting practice, Stanton notes the real test will be in games.

"It feels better every day," Stanton said. "It has its tight days and whatever, but the thing that made me come back the quickest is the damage was done. I don't have to wait for a muscle to fuse back. It's already off the bone. I've just got to get the inflammation and flexibility back, and the trigger, the fire, of my motions."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

 

Miami Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton