|Mets RF Ryan Church feeling much better after concussion|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 04 March 2008 13:12|
The New York Mets' new right fielder was injured in a violent collision with teammate Marlon Anderson on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers and will miss at least a few spring training games. The team said Church will resume playing when he is free of concussion symptoms.
Church returned to camp Monday and spent Tuesday doing drills in a pool on the minor league side of the Mets' complex. It was his first day without dizziness since the collision.
``It's a good sign, a good start,'' he said. ``I feel a lot better.''
Church ran on a special treadmill in the pool and showed he could keep himself afloat. He's eager to resume baseball activities and hopes to take batting practice soon. He said the training staff would tell him Wednesday what his next step is.
Church and Anderson, a pinch-hitting specialist who was playing first base, crashed into each other in shallow right field Saturday while chasing Andruw Jones' popup. Visibly woozy, Church was helped off the field. He hasn't watched a replay of the collision and doesn't plan to.
``No, I don't want to see that. I don't remember anything about it. I could care less - I don't want to remember it,'' he said. ``I'm just thankful that he wasn't severely injured or myself. No broken bones or anything.''
Anderson walked off the field under his own power. He has a bruised sternum and is day to day, though he hasn't played since. Both players had CT scans that were negative.
Church was acquired from Washington with catcher Brian Schneider in a November trade for touted outfield prospect Lastings Milledge. After batting .272 with 15 homers, 70 RBIs and 43 doubles in 470 at-bats for the Nationals last season, Church was penciled in as New York's regular right fielder.
He wanted to focus this spring on improving against left-handed pitching. He batted only .229 with one home run against lefties last year.
Church and Anderson are among several injured Mets. Carlos Delgado is sidelined by a sore hip and Schneider has been out with a tight hamstring. Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, Orlando Hernandez, Damion Easley and Endy Chavez are yet to play in a spring training game because they're still rehabbing.
David Wright, Jose Reyes and second-string catcher Ramon Castro were the only regular position players who made the 35-minute trip to Jupiter on Tuesday for a game against the Florida Marlins.
Back at Tradition Field, Beltran, Castillo, Easley and Jose Valentin ran the bases. Beltran, who had surgery on both knees in the offseason, was clearly less than full speed.
``Right now, that's the fastest I can go,'' he said. ``If I can go straight, straight is fine. It's just turning and stopping.''
Beltran said his left knee is still bothering him more than the right one, but he's confident he'll be at full speed by the end of spring training.
Castillo, who also had offseason knee surgery, was hobbling the most. But the speedy second baseman said he expects to begin playing exhibition games in seven to 10 days.
Notes: Hernandez is working on a new windup - without that high leg kick - and plans to use it in his bullpen session Wednesday. The new motion helps El Duque keep his back foot flat on the rubber during his delivery, which eases stress on his surgically repaired toe. ... Tests on reserve INF Ruben Gotay's injured right ankle did not show signs of a fracture. Gotay got hurt sliding into home plate Sunday against the Dodgers.