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Cards' Ankiel to miss 10-14 days with knee injury

JUPITER, Fla. -- Former pitcher Rick Ankiel, trying to make
the St. Louis Cardinals as an outfielder, will miss 10 to 14 days
of spring training after injuring his left knee.

Ankiel suffered the injury during an intrasquad game Monday. He
had been scheduled to start in center field against Florida
Atlantic University on Tuesday.
An MRI on Tuesday revealed a strained patella tendon.
"Yesterday he felt a little twinge in his knee," assistant
team physician Robert Shivley said. "It was pretty well localized
to the bottom end of his kneecap, in the patellar tendon. We're
going to reevaluate him in 10 days, two weeks, and hopefully he'll
be ready to go by then."
The 26-year-old Ankiel had been impressive in spring workouts.
He batted a combined .259 with 21 home runs and 75 RBI in 85 games
split between Double-A Springfield and Class-A Quad Cities last
season.
Ankiel was considered a can't-miss left-hander when the
Cardinals chose him in the second round out of high school in the
1997 draft. His pitching career was derailed in the 2000 playoffs
when he threw nine wild pitches in four innings, and he never
recovered.
He was always considered a very good hitter for a pitcher, with
a .207 career average and two homers, a double, a triple and nine
RBI in 87 major league at-bats.
Against Florida Atlantic in St. Louis' spring opener, Scott
Spiezio's pinch-hit RBI double broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth, and
Reid Gorecki followed with a three-run homer. It was part of a
six-run inning as the Cardinals rallied for a 6-1 victory.
Florida Atlantic's lone run came in the seventh when Cardinals
first baseman Chris Duncan missed a throw from pitcher Rich
Rundles. None of the Cardinals' anticipated starters played in the
game.
The Cardinals don't play Wednesday, before hosting the New York
Mets on Thursday.
St. Louis announced catcher Yadier Molina and outfielder John Rodriguez have agreed to one-year contracts. Terms were not
disclosed.