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Tampa Bay Rays Akinori Iwamura likely headed to DL with knee injury

UPDATE, 7:40: Here is some of what Chris Coghlan told south Florida writers:

"I felt awful that he got injured. I would never try to injure somebody. I'll be praying for him and I'll call over there and talk to him, but I don't think it was an illegal slide or anything like that. He just wasn't able to get up in time.

"I know what it's like. I've played second. I've had a lot of guys that try to take you out. I know what he's going through.

"I apologized and asked if he was OK. I didn't know really what to do in the situation with the game still being played. Watching him lay there, you feel awful because you never want to hurt somebody, and I wasn't trying to. At the same time, you have to try to break up the double play.

"I was just playing the game the right way.

I knew where he was and where the pitcher threw. I was seeing where he was going to go as far as right of the bag or left of the bag. I knew he was right close to the bag, so I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong. I could easily reach the base. I've played second. People go a lot farther than that, but at the same time I feel bad he got injured. There was nothing I could really do."

UPDATE, 6:20: Though the Rays didn't offer any official speculation on how long Iwamura will be out, from the sound of what teammates are saying, and the way Iwamura went around the clubhouse on crutches saying goodbye, it appears to be serious.

"From what I heard, he's not going to be back soon,'' SS Jason Bartlett said.

UPDATE, 6:08 Coghlan came over to the Rays clubhouse to apologize, and Iwamura accepted.

UPDATE, 4:55: Now SS Jason Bartlett is being attended to after Dan Uggla slid into his left ankle on a stolen base, but he is staying in the game and appears to be okay.

UPDATE, 4:44: Iwamura is likely headed to the DL with what the Rays are saying is a left knee injury.
 He will be driven back o St. Petersburg tonight and have an MRI on Monday.

NEWS: Rays 2B Akinori Iwamura was injured - apparently seriously - in a collision at second base and was taken off the field on a cart.

Iwamura was trying to turning a double play when Marlins OF Chris Coghlan - a product of East Lake High in Tarpon Springs - barrelled into his left leg. The injury appeared to be to Iwamura's knee, though he was sitting up and talking with head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield as they rode off the field.

SS Jason Bartlett made a heads-up play as Iwamura was on the ground writhing in pain, taking the ball from his glove and firing home as John Baker attempted to score what would have been the go-ahead run.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:47am]


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