AL MVP will be ready for spring training

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- AL MVP
Vladimir Guerrero sprained his right thumb and will miss the Dominican
winter league playoffs.

The Anaheim outfielder, who plays for the Licey Tigers, was hurt
Dec. 26 while sliding headfirst into second base during a game
against the San Pedro de Macoris Stars.

"My plan was to play fulltime with Licey in the playoffs and
help the team defend its crown," Guerrero said Friday. "But until
my thumb is fully recovered, I can't grab a bat."

Guerrero, 28, hit .337 with 39 homers and 126 RBI in 2004, the
first season of a $70 million, five-year contract.

"Neither the Angels nor Licey want to rush Vladimir's
comeback," Licey general manager Fernando Ravelo said.

Anaheim's position players are due at Tempe, Ariz., on Feb. 21,
the voluntary reporting date.

"We anticipate that he'll be ready for the start of spring
training," Angels spokesman Larry Babcock said.