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Bartlett: Better safe than sorry

Posted May 26, 2009 by Marc Lancaster

Updated May 26, 2009 at 11:27 PM

CLEVELAND—Jason Bartlett addressed his condition after the game, saying the ankle he hurt Sunday actually felt pretty good when he woke up this morning—and in fact it still felt pretty good late tonight.

But the MRI exam he underwent earlier in the day showed a sprain and the Rays didn’t want to take any chances, so he’s on the shelf for two weeks.

“It’s not that bad, but we just want to be safe with it,” he said.

Between the fact that the ankle really isn’t bothering Bartlett that much and all the additional damage the Rays have suffered in recent days—most notably a season-ending injury to Akinori Iwamura—the shortstop said he definitely felt the urge to try to keep playing.

“Part of me wants to be selfish and just get out there and keep playing,” he said, “but if I do that I could make it worse and be out two or three months as opposed to a week or so.”

Manager Joe Maddon essentially echoed Bartlett’s comments on the severity of the injury, hoping one of his most effective all-around players will only miss the minimum two weeks.

“We don’t think it’s awful, but we want to be very cautious with it,” Maddon said. “It’s really unfortunate because this young man’s having an All-Star season right now. There’s no getting around that, and that’s not made up by his manager (who also happens to be the All-Star manager, of course), that’s pretty much what’s going on in the American League right now. All facets of his game, I think, have been spectacular, and we need him back quickly.”

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