Griffey to miss rest of season

Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2004

CINCINNATI (AP) Ken Griffey Jr. will miss the rest of the season because of a torn right hamstring, the latest setback in a long line of injuries for the All-Star outfielder.

Griffey will have surgery Monday, the Cincinnati Reds said. Team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek said Wednesday that an MRI exam showed Griffey had ruptured his hamstring last week in San Francisco.

Griffey, who hit his 500th career home run earlier this season, could be fully rehabbed in time for spring training, Kremchek said.

The Reds said Griffey was hurt while making a sliding catch in right field last Wednesday. Griffey had moved over from his usual spot in center field for the game, his first action in nearly four weeks since tearing his hamstring.

''He had a complete rupture of the hamstring off the bone,'' Kremchek said. ''He knew it wasn't right, and that's why he hadn't really played since he injured it in San Francisco.''

''He didn't come back earlier because I think he was hoping he would be able to get over this and pinch-hit or he'd be able to do something to help the team,'' he said.

The new injury was similar to one Griffey had on his left side three years ago. But that one was a partial tear that healed without surgery, Kremchek said.

In recent years, Griffey has been plagued by injuries.

Griffey missed more than a month with a torn hamstring that bothered him throughout the 2001 season. He then spent two long stints on the 15-day disabled list with a torn knee tendon and a torn right hamstring in 2002.

Griffey went on the DL twice again last year for a dislocated right shoulder and torn ankle tendon.

This year, he was voted an All-Star starter for the 12th time but missed the game because he strained his right hamstring in Milwaukee right before the All-Star game.

Griffey was batting .253 with 20 homers and 60 RBIs. He had homered just once since hitting No. 500 on June 20.

Earlier Wednesday, Griffey had been joking in the Reds' clubhouse about Adam Dunn's mammoth home run Tuesday night against Los Angeles. The ball traveled an estimated 535 feet on the fly, bounced on the street outside Great American Ball Park and came to rest on a piece of driftwood in the Ohio River.

''Someday I'll be that strong,'' Griffey had said.

Griffey also said he was available to pinch-hit. The Reds announced the injury about four hours later.

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