Garciaparra back in Boston for treatment

Updated: April 2, 2004, 6:33 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- While Nomar Garciaparra doesn't like being on the sidelines, the Boston shortstop knows it's better to let his injured Achilles' tendon heal now.

"If there was a time to take care it, it's to take care of it now going into the season ... so it doesn't become a factor later on," he said Friday. "I don't like to sit and watch, but at the same time I'm also focused on what I have to do. The good thing is we have a plan on what we'd like to do."

Boston opens Sunday at Baltimore. Garciaparra already is back home to receive medical attention for his foot injury, expected to keep him out for at least three weeks.

The injury really only hurts when he runs, he said, and he will be able to stay in shape, work out in the pool, throw and swing without aggravating the injury.

"I'm able to do other stuff to keep my body in shape ... so when the time is right to pick up my baseball activity, I'm not going to be far behind," said Garciaparra, who hit .301 last season, with 28 home runs and 105 RBIs.

Garciaparra was examined Wednesday in Florida by Mark Slovenkai, an ankle and foot specialist from New England Baptist Hospital.

No structural damage was found in the tendon, but the injury was diagnosed as a bruise in the cartilage that covers the tendon. The only treatment is rest.

Garciaparra, who would have been traded in December if Boston had acquired Alex Rodriguez, was injured March 5 when he was hit by a ball during batting practice. He was limited to just eight at-bats in spring training.

"It needs rest, which unfortunately is the hardest thing to tell an athlete," Garciaparra said.

With Garciaparra out of the lineup, Pokey Reese is expected to fill in at shortstop. Mark Bellhorn will play second base in place of Reese.

"I'm not concerned at all that we have some injuries, that's part of the game," Garciaparra said. "The injuries are now, we can address them, take care of them. ... There is a lot of baseball to played and you have to look at the big picture."

Nor is he concerned about how the injury will affect his contract negotiations.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press