CHICAGO -- The Tigers, whose chances to contend this season hinge on health, picked up their second outfield injury of the year on Opening Day. Left fielder Justin Upton left Tuesday's 6-3 Tigers win over the White Sox with a left knee contusion he sustained on a catch near the
CHICAGO -- The Tigers, whose chances to contend this season hinge on health, picked up their second outfield injury of the year on Opening Day. Left fielder Justin Upton left Tuesday's 6-3 Tigers win over the White Sox with a left knee contusion he sustained on a catch near the outfield wall.
Upton is day to day, the Tigers announced, but the 29-year-old is optimistic he won't miss any time.
"Hopefully I'll come in [Wednesday], and it feels fine and I'll go," Upton said. "If not, we'll take a day. Nothing I'm worried about."
Upton, batting fifth in the lineup while right fielder J.D. Martinez recovers from a right midfoot sprain he sustained in Spring Training, had an adventurous sixth inning in left. He followed a Jose Abreu double over his head by racing to the wall to run down Todd Frazier's line drive.
"I just landed funny on my left leg and jammed my knee," Upton said. "The next pitch I went to get in position and it was pretty sore."
Upton trotted back to the dugout on his own at inning's end. When Upton's spot in the order came up with runners at the corners and two outs in the seventh, however, Tyler Collins pinch-hit and struck out.
Had the injury occurred on Monday, when Opening Day was originally scheduled, Upton would've had an off-day to recover before the Tigers got back to action on Wednesday. Instead, Monday's postponement leaves the Tigers with a game each day through next week. With Collins and Michael Mahtook platooning in right field while Martinez is out, and Jones and Andrew Romine expected to share time in center, manager Brad Ausmus might have to forgo matchups and play healthy bodies if Upton misses any games.
"We don't expect it to be long term at this point," Ausmus said, "but we'll know more [Wednesday]."
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.