Padres OF Milton Bradley Has Torn ACL

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By BERNIE WILSON
The Associated Press
Monday, September 24, 2007; 11:13 PM

-- Milton Bradley is done for the season, Mike Cameron might not be in much better shape and the livid San Diego Padres tried to regroup Monday from a bizarre chain of events that left their outfield depleted with a week to go in the season.

Bradley will miss the rest of the year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He was injured when his own manager spun him to the ground while trying to keep him from going after umpire Mike Winters during an eighth-inning confrontation in Sunday's 7-3 loss to Colorado at Petco Park.

The commissioner's office said Monday it is investigating whether the volatile Bradley was baited by Winters. The Padres said Winters directed profanities at Bradley right before the blowup.

"I know there will be a thorough investigation of the dialogue between Milton and Mike Winters," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said before San Diego opened a three-game series in San Francisco. "I have a lot of confidence there will be due process and it will be handled well. For Milton's sake, he certainly has the support of our ballclub."

Black, the Padres' first-year manager, called it an unfortunate development for a team that had its wild-card lead trimmed to just a half-game over Philadelphia. Bradley, the club's starting left fielder, was playing in his third game after missing 12 with a muscle injury.

"I feel bad for Milton," Black said. "I feel bad for him because I know he was coming back from the oblique and he was looking forward to playing here down the stretch.

"He's a very strong guy. My thought was, 'I've got to do everything I can to keep Milton away from any confrontation because if he gets suspended it's going to cost us games.'"

Bradley will seek a second opinion in Cincinnati. Towers expects him to have surgery for a "significant" tear within about a week. The recovery process is expected to be at least six months.

Batting .313, Bradley hit his 11th homer with San Diego and 13th overall earlier in Sunday's game.

Cameron, a Gold Glove center fielder, has a partially torn ligament in his right thumb and a strain in the same area. He was hurt when he made a sliding attempt at Garrett Atkins' inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning Sunday, then had Bradley step on his hand.

Cameron will wear a wrap for four or five days and could pinch run. There's no guarantee he would be ready to return even next week if the Padres make the playoffs.

Baseball spokesman Rich Levin said the commissioner's office is looking into whether Bradley was baited by Winters. The investigation is headed by Mike Port, major league baseball's vice president of umpiring, who reports to executive vice president Jimmie Lee Solomon.


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