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07/20/08 6:14 PM ET
Matthews out of lineup, won't go to DL
Outfielder misses second straight game due to tear in knee
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. was held out of the lineup for the second straight game because of a small tear to the patellar tendon in his left knee but said he will not be headed to the disabled list for now. Matthews was diagnosed with the tear on Saturday night after he met with team orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum. He said the tear can be repaired without surgery, so the plan for now is to keep getting it treated and continue to play. "We're going to keep trying to play through it," Matthews said. "We're going to keep getting prepared and treating it. But we're going to change some things in treatment and some medication to see if it's going to make it better, and just grind it out." \ Matthews said his knee has been bothering him since last season when he missed the playoffs because of patellar tendinitis. He said he has been getting treatment on his knee since November but that he re-aggravated it during Spring Training on the hard surfaces in Arizona. The switch-hitter said it hurts most when he sits in his stance when he batting left-handed, when he bursts out of the box to run to first and when he starts and stops running. It also has affected his swing when he bats left-handed because it forces him to stand up in his stance more. It has showed in his stats as well, because he is batting just .228 from the left side and .253 from the right side. "Basically it makes you drift a hair when you're taller than you want to be in your stance," Matthews said. "It was a matter of me not being able to be consistent with my approach." While playing through the injury, Matthews has batted .235 with seven homers and 34 RBIs along with a .310 on-base percentage in 89 games this season. "I wasn't getting the results I needed for this team, so it's disappointing," Matthews said. "I don't have any regrets on playing on it. I made a five-year commitment and I feel responsible to hold my end of the bargain to play every day whether you feel great or not. Because honestly, no one in this clubhouse feels great every day." Matthews, who signed a five-year, $50 million deal during the 2007 offseason, said he won't consider surgery because it will take four to six months to heal and he wants to contribute to the first-place Angels. "Right now, we've got a great opportunity to win," Matthews said. "And to me, that's most attractive. It's really the only reason to play through this. We have a chance to win and I want to be a part of it. It's the reason I came here." Matthews is still unsure when he will be able to play again but said his knee has good days and bad days. For now, he said he just has two major goals for the second half of the season. "What a great story it would be to win another division title and find a way for it to work in the second half," Matthews said. "I want to be able to accomplish both of my goals in the second half of being able to contribute and make the playoffs, and be able to play, unlike last season."
Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.