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.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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