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Garciaparra to rest sprained knee

Garciaparra to rest sprained knee

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers shortstop Nomar Garciaparra was diagnosed with a grade-one (mild) sprain of the medial collateral ligament of the left knee and was not in the lineup Monday night.

Garciaparra, after receiving the results of an MRI, was confident the injury was relatively minor.

"It's good to know nothing is structurally wrong," said Garciaparra. "It's a matter of getting the swelling out and getting back out there without aggravating it. I feel optimistic. How long? Hopefully, it will be pretty quick. I'm not overly concerned."

According to the club, Garciaparra will have "little activity" for the next few days and resume baseball activity as he can tolerate the discomfort.

"I think he felt more today. I'm not sure if there was puffiness," manager Joe Torre said of Garciaparra, who left Sunday's game an inning after the injury, but said after the game that the knee had felt better after receiving treatment during the game.

Garciaparra -- who has already missed 76 games this year with a broken hand and a torn calf muscle -- twisted the knee when Washington runner Lastings Milledge slid into Garciaparra as he covered third base on an unusual 5-3-6 double play in the fifth inning.

Garciaparra hustled over to cover the bag as Milledge tried to go from first to third on a tapper to third baseman Casey Blake by former Dodger Paul Lo Duca.

"He got there the same time as the runner," said Torre. "He was in an awkward position. It can happen to anybody, even if you're not injury prone."

Torre started recently acquired backup Angel Berroa at shortstop and said he was comfortable using Berroa for now.

"If it's beyond a couple of days," said Torre, "we'd certainly look for a shortstop. We're hoping this is a fill-in thing."

That should sound familiar, because the reason the Dodgers acquired Berroa is the loss of regular shortstop Rafael Furcal to back surgery. Furcal is out at least another month. After inquiring about shortstops like Jack Wilson, David Eckstein and Orlando Cabrera, the Dodgers broadened their search for an offensive-minded infielder and Saturday acquired Blake. Torre said he had not considered using Blake at shortstop.

With the Trade Deadline on Thursday afternoon, the Dodgers have only three days to decide if they need to trade for a shortstop. After that, acquired players must first clear waivers and that diminishes the pool of available players.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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