Cozart exits early with quad tightness

Reds shortstop taken out as precaution on frigid night

Cozart exits early with quad tightness

CHICAGO -- Reds shortstop Zack Cozart exited Monday's 5-3 loss to the Cubs before the bottom of the fourth inning because of tightness in his lower right quadriceps.

"I'm sore. It's more of a precaution though," Cozart said. "Being a chilly night, I just had some tightness in my quad. I'm going to get some treatment [Tuesday] and come back Wednesday and see how I feel. Hopefully, I feel fine."

The Reds and Cubs are off on Tuesday, giving Cozart more time to get better. One reason for the added precaution is that the injury came on the same leg where he had reconstructive knee surgery in June. He returned to game action in mid-March of Spring Training.

"That's a part of recovering from this particular injury," manager Bryan Price said. "Every now and again it gets a little stiff and it'll affect his hip and it'll affect different parts once you start favoring your knee. Once that was the case, we got him out of the game."

Cozart first showed signs of distress in the top of the first inning after he hit a soft single into right-center field. Once he reached first base, he was looked over by trainer Steve Baumann and Price before remaining in the game.

"It was actually on the 2-0 swing I had, I felt it not necessarily in my quad but my knee a little bit," Cozart said. "I think it just has to do with this tightness in my quad. It's kind of irritating everything on my right side. Since it's my surgery side, we didn't want to push it this early in the year."

By the fourth inning, Cozart could no longer continue.

"The last ground ball I caught, [Jason] Heyward's ball [in the third inning], I felt it pretty good," Cozart said. "In the dugout, I was trying to work through it and play with it, stretch it out, and do whatever I could. Then it just came to the point where there's just not really a point right now to push it. My knee injury was on the right side. I didn't want to overcompensate one way and push something the wrong way and we're out for a long time."

Ivan De Jesus Jr. replaced Cozart in the field for the bottom of the fourth. Cozart is off to a hot start with hits in five straight games and batting .412/.421/.529. He has yet to swing and miss on a pitch through his first 32 swings of the season.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.