Vladimir Guerrero says aching right knee has healed

Updated: December 30, 2006, 7:28 PM ET
Associated Press

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Vladimir Guerrero's aching right knee that bothered him last season feels better and won't require surgery.

The Los Angeles outfielder, who participated in a charity softball game Saturday in the Dominican Republic organized by Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, told The Associated Press that the Angels were considering surgery.

"They were going to operate on me, but it wasn't necessary because I had a good recovery," he said.

Guerrero, a 30-year-old Dominican native, batted .329 with 33 home runs and 116 RBIs last season. He played in 156 games despite discomfort in his knee.

The AL MVP in 2004 said he was pleased with the Angels' offseason activity, including the acquisition of first baseman Shea Hillenbrand.

"We've made good moves," he said. "We'll have to wait and see how things turn out" for Hillenbrand, he said.

New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez is also recovering well from rotator cuff surgery, but the ace right-hander still doesn't plan to return to the mound until July or August.

"The progress has been excellent," said Martinez, who joined Guerrero in the softball game. "The problem has to do with the calcification of the bone that was broken with the tear and that had to be operated on.

"You have to let it run its course, so we're aiming for July or August as the return date."

Martinez, 35, missed the end of last season -- including the Mets' playoff run -- due to injuries to his leg and arm. Since having surgery, the three-time Cy Young Award winner says the mobility in his throwing arm has already improved.

"I don't have problems anymore with my reach or flexibility, and so far everything is going very well," he said.

As part of his offseason regimen, Martinez said he is bulking up.

"I've put on about 10 pounds of muscle, because that's one of our strategies," he said.

The pitcher praised the Mets' moves during the offseason. They added left fielder Moises Alou but were outbid by the San Francisco Giants in their attempt to sign left-handed starter Barry Zito.

"It would have been good to have Zito on the team, but it wasn't possible," Martinez said.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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