Marlins shortstop Easley suffers leg injury
MIAMI -- Florida Marlins shortstop Damion Easley sprained his right ankle Friday night and might miss the rest of the regular season, forcing the team to rely on an untested rookie in the midst of the playoff race.
Easley stumbled and fell running into the outfield in anticipation of taking a cutoff throw following a double by Philadelphia's Ryan Howard in the second inning. The game, which Philadelphia won 13-3, was delayed for five minutes before Easley was helped onto a cart to be taken off the field.
X-rays were negative, and an MRI was scheduled for Saturday. Manager Jack McKeon said Easley would likely be sidelined at least a week, and perhaps the rest of the season.
"The way it feels right now, I'm not totally optimistic," Easley said.
Rookie Robert Andino, recalled Sept. 2 from Double-A Carolina, replaced Easley.
"It's tough to lose him," McKeon said. "We don't really have any depth in that area."
The Marlins were already without regular shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who has been out of the starting lineup the past two weeks with a bone bruise on his right elbow and might miss the rest of the regular season.
Easley said he didn't know whether the choppy condition of the Marlins' field contributed to the injury. The field is filled with seams because the Miami Dolphins have played three games on it in the past three weeks, and Florida Atlantic's football team has also played there.
"I was going after the ball," Easley said. "Next thing you know, I'm on the ground. I don't know if I hit a pothole or a seam. I have no idea. But my spike got caught in the ground and wouldn't come out."
Easley was batting .240 with nine homers and 30 RBI in 102 games this season.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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