Helton misses Thursday's game

Helton misses Thursday's game

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Rockies first baseman Todd Helton was scratched from his scheduled start in Thursday's game with the White Sox, marking the second scheduled appearance Helton has missed in six days.

The team reported that Helton is experiencing inflammation in his right knee, and is considered "day-to-day." Helton missed Saturday's game against the Angels with the same ailment.

After not playing Sunday, Helton returned to the Rockies' lineup on Monday and went 2-for-3 with an RBI while playing first base. He was a designated hitter on Tuesday and went 0-for-2. He was not scheduled to play Wednesday.

Helton has played in four of the Rockies' seven games this spring, hitting four singles in nine at-bats for a .444 average while driving in two and walking once.

When the ailment first caused Helton to be scratched from Saturday's game, the first baseman said it was "no big deal" and emphasized that "if it was the season, it would not be a problem. But it's a month before the season, so there's no reason to push something."

Thursday's lineup would have featured a mix of players all likely to be on the Opening Day roster, with Willy Taveras leading off and playing center followed by Kaz Matsui at second, Garrett Atkins at third, Helton at first, Matt Holliday in left, Jeff Baker in right, Yorvit Torrealba catching and Troy Tulowitzki at short.

With Helton scratched, Joe Koshansky moved from the "B" game to the "A" game, batting cleanup in place of Helton.

The Rockies travel to the Phoenix area on Friday to play the Mariners, and, healthy or not, Helton would not be expected to make that road trip. The Rockies have a split-squad game on Saturday, with games in Peoria against the Padres and at home against the White Sox. If Helton is to play in the next couple of days, the home game with Chicago is the most likely opportunity.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.