DENVER -- Rockies outfielder Carlos González sported a reddish swelling on the outside of his left ankle. Crutches rested near his locker. And he felt lucky.
Gonzalez left Monday night's 4-3 loss to the Rangers before his first turn at bat, which was leading off the bottom of the second because of inflammation in the same ankle that he sprained last week, but he appears to have escaped a significant injury.
"I know it should take a couple days, but I don't think it should be a DL," Gonzalez said after Tuesday's 7-5 loss. "I felt good today, so that's a good sign. I was wondering how I was going to wake up today because [my ankle] was bigger than it was the day that I sprained it. That's why I was a little concerned last night, but today I feel fine and I'm walking fine."
Gonzalez, who will travel to Texas but won't play Wednesday or Thursday, had played in two of the four games since the injury and felt good enough to attempt extending his hit streak to 17 games. But starting with warmups and continuing into the game -- especially when he sprinted to back up first base on a throw that catcher Nick Hundley made after a strikeout in the top of the second -- he could feel the pain and swelling and knew he had to leave. (The hitting streak is intact because he didn't have a plate appearance.)
"I was trying to get everybody's attention to get me out of the game, that I couldn't run," Gonzalez said. "Good thing there was no play in right field. I got to the dugout and tried to take the tape off. Soon as I took the tape off, the swelling got really bad."
Four Rangers batted after Gonzalez felt the pain. The whole time, he was trying to signal to the dugout, to his teammates, anybody.
"I was pointing at everybody, trying to get their attention," he said. "I said, 'Reynolds, I can't run.' And Reynolds ... didn't understand what I was saying. Then I got the guys in the 'pen to call to the dugout because I didn't feel good."
Gonzalez said the ankle looks bad because of the pressure of the tape and added that treatment and keeping weight off it could promote healing.
Gonzalez sprained the ankle during a groundout late in Wednesday's 12-2 victory over the Dodgers. He had homered twice earlier in the game.
He crumpled to the dirt just after turning the ankle at the end of his swing. At the time he said he didn't expect to miss much action and that he would try to play through the pain as much as possible.
Gonzalez is hitting .321 with 23 home runs and 76 RBIs, and the ankle issues come at a time when the Rockies are without shortstop Trevor Story, who underwent season-ending surgery on his left thumb last week. The bullpen is also in flux, with Carlos Estévez having blown his last two save opportunities and the Rockies losing four of their last five.
Gonzalez will have to manage the injury carefully. He rested on Sunday, a day game after a night game, in hopes of managing the pain. He didn't undergo an X-ray or MRI after Monday's game because he knows that swelling is the issue.
"I don't want it to get any worse," he said. "I want to keep playing. We have a chance, we're playing good ball. The last game I played, I got a couple of hits. I was running around with pain, but there wasn't swelling."