Gibbons has MRI on knee

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Outfielder out until at least Tuesday

Benson ready to go on three days' rest

May 28, 2006|By JEFF ZREBIEC | JEFF ZREBIEC,SUN REPORTER

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Orioles took inventory yesterday on Jay Gibbons' variety of aches and pains resulting from his sliding into the railing at Angel Stadium on Friday night, and the team was concerned enough about the outfielder's right knee to send him for a magnetic resonance imaging test.

Gibbons was not in the lineup last night and won't play again until Tuesday at the earliest. He is leaving the team today to attend services for his mother, who died unexpectedly early last week. The Orioles are off tomorrow, and manager Sam Perlozzo believes it is extremely optimistic to expect Gibbons, who said that he felt "sore all over," to be ready to play Tuesday in the series opener against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

"I am not sure he is going to be ready Tuesday," Perlozzo said. "One of the things that may slow that process down is obviously he's got some things he has to do in his personal life that keeps him from getting regular treatment. Maybe it would expedite the recovery if we were treating him, but that's just a situation you don't have control over."

After the injury that occurred beyond the right-field foul line when the outfielder was trying to cut off Vladimir Guerrero's eventual inside-the-park home run, Gibbons said he was particularly concerned about his left hip. But after suffering some back spasms late Friday night, Gibbons walked gingerly around the clubhouse yesterday, favoring his right leg.

"I'm having some issues behind the knee and stuff like that, and I'd better get it done now because of the holiday," Gibbons said. "It's also my hamstring that's bothering me, but it's right behind my knee, so I guess they want to look at the knee. Hopefully, it's just a little bruise and I'll be fine."

Orioles head trainer Richie Bancells said that the MRI - the results weren't known as of game time - was done as a precautionary measure.

"[The knee is] probably the thing that's the most bothersome, the part we're most concerned with right now," Bancells said. "He had abrasions and stuff on the front of his knee, as well as some swelling, which tells me he probably hit the front of his knee and hyperextended it back. So I just want to make sure the structures in the back of the knee are sound."

Asked who would be Gibbons' replacement if he needed to go on the disabled list, Perlozzo said, "I am trying not to think about it."

A first for Benson

Perlozzo said that he will keep a closer eye on today's starter, Kris Benson, who will be pitching on three days' rest for the first time in his career. Benson threw only two innings and 60 total pitches in his most recent start Wednesday.

"We certainly don't want to lose him," Perlozzo said. "Kris is pretty honest. I don't think he's going to do something that he doesn't feel good about."

Benson said that he adjusted his routine and feels ready.

"Considering that I threw 60 pitches last time, and the shortage of starters right now, it's pretty much a no-brainer," Benson said. "I was able to just throw my one bullpen [session] in between my starts. If anything, it gave me a little rest, because I didn't stick to my same program.

"I'm still feeling good. Why not just go ahead and get it out of the way and get back on schedule? I won't have a day off for a long time, till the end of June. It's a good time to get back on track."

Britton impresses

Since being recalled from Double-A Bowie on May 15 for his second stint with the Orioles this season, reliever Chris Britton hasn't allowed an earned run. Perlozzo said it's obvious that Britton figured some things out while back in the minors.

"The first time Britt was here, I didn't see what I am seeing now," Perlozzo said. "Whatever they did in the minor leagues has improved his breaking ball. And he's not afraid to throw the ball over the plate. At times, he's a little sneaky on hitters. He's been able to come in here and hold his own to this point." jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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