Angels star jammed shoulder on slide
LOS ANGELES -- Angels star Vladimir Guerrero, the reigning AL MVP, will be sidelined at least two weeks with a partial dislocation of his left shoulder.
Guerrero was injured in the fifth inning of Friday night's 9-0 victory over the Dodgers while sliding into home and trying to avoid catcher Jason Phillips' tag.
Guerrero, who underwent X-rays Saturday at Anaheim Memorial Hospital and was examined by team physician Lewis Yocum, expressed optimism concerning the injury.
"I feel that in two weeks, I'll be fully recovered," he said Sunday through an interpreter.
"I think two weeks gives us a time frame to see where he's at," Yocum said. "It's less traumatic than a true dislocation. There's concern any time there's a shoulder injury in a high-level athlete like him."
Yocum said an MRI will be performed Monday or Tuesday -- after the swelling in Guerrero's non-throwing shoulder goes down.
Guerrero is hitting .303 with seven homers and 24 RBI in 41 games. He hadn't missed a game before Saturday.
Guerrero signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the Angels before last season. The 29-year-old outfielder then hit .337 with 39 homers, 126 RBI, a career-high 124 runs scored and 206 hits last season to lead them to the AL West championship.
The Angels placed Guerrero on the 15-day disabled list, replacing him on their roster by recalling outfielder Curtis Pride from Triple-A Salt Lake. To make room for Pride on the 40-man roster, the Angels moved right-hander Bret Prinz from the 15- to the 60-day DL.
Pride, who hit .320 with six homers and 31 RBI in 35 games for Salt Lake, will join the Angels on Sunday.
Guerrero had a similar injury several years ago while playing for the Montreal Expos but wasn't placed on the disabled list, missing only about four or five games, Yocum said.
"It increases my concern a little bit, yes," Yocum said regarding the previous injury. "He's just in a sling to protect the shoulder, keep it in place."
Yocum said surgery is a possibility.
"I think with an injury like this, there's always concern," Yocum said when asked if the injury could keep Guerrero sidelined much longer than two weeks.
The Angels lead the AL West despite being without several key players at times this season. Starting pitcher Kelvim Escobar has spent two stints on the disabled list because of elbow problems; second baseman Adam Kennedy, third baseman Dallas McPherson and catcher Benjie Molina have all been sidelined for extensive periods; and outfielder Garret Anderson and closer Francisco Rodriguez are currently day-to-day because of injuries.
"I don't know what it is, man," Escobar said. "It happened last year, too. One guy went down, and then it was the next guy, the next guy."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels' depth will be called upon -- again.
"We have a good bench, a versatile bench," Scioscia said. "Any team that fields a championship-caliber club has to have that depth to absorb the loss of a key player."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press