Ken Griffey Jr. will be out for at least six weeks as he recovers from a dislocated right shoulder.
Griffey landed on the shoulder while diving for a fly ball on Saturday, the third straight season that the Cincinnati Reds outfielder has suffered a major injury in March or April.
Physician Timothy Kremchek popped the shoulder back into place at the ballpark on Saturday. X-rays and other tests found no fractures or major injury to the rotator cuff.
Griffey will try to rehabilitate the shoulder rather than have surgery, and optimistically could be playing again in six to 10 weeks, Kremchek said. There is a possibility that he might have to have surgery anyway.
"If he had surgery now, he'd miss the season," Kremchek said, after examining Griffey today. "If we rehab him and he's unable to get back, he still has surgery and misses the season.
"Looking at the tests and examinations we've done on him, I think there's an excellent chance he'll be able to return this year."
Kremchek said Griffey was still in a lot of pain.
"He's down," Kremchek said. "Yesterday, he was in shock. He had worked very hard and looked very good in spring training, and was looking forward to the season. He's discouraged. I think the fact that we can rehab this and get him back to playing this year has given him some hope."
The clubhouse was still somber today before a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.
"I feel so bad for Griff," first baseman Sean Casey said. "It looked like he was turning the corner. So many good things happened for him this spring. He looked 100 percent healthy. Then this happens. It's just so disappointing."
Griffey, 33, is the game's second superstar to dislocate a shoulder in the opening week. New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter hurt his left shoulder while sliding into third base in the season opener. Like Griffey, Jeter is going to try to rehabilitate the shoulder rather than have surgery.
The Reds haven't made a roster move to replace Griffey. Manager Bob Boone planned to start Barry Larkin in center field today, but changed his mind after talking to him for a half-hour.
Larkin played one game in center field this spring, the first time in his pro career that he had appeared in the outfield. Boone said Larkin will take fly balls before games to get used to the position.