Jankowski able to avoid DL after scary injury

Jankowski able to avoid DL after scary injury

SAN DIEGO -- Just days after spraining his right ankle while beating out an infield single, Padres outfielder Travis Jankowski is ready to play.

That's a pretty good birthday present -- Jankowski turned 25 Wednesday -- because the injury looked gruesome on Monday when it happened. Upon first glance and after slow-motion replay (which Jankowski said he was only able to watch once), a trip to the disabled list seemed inevitable.

But he entered Tuesday's game as a pinch-hitter and said Wednesday that he felt fine.

"It's honestly not too bad," Jankowski said. "I was taking some fly balls yesterday and tracked on down in right-center. Felt fine.

"Everything's been fine, it really hasn't slowed me down at all. I just gotta make contact now and get on base."

Jankowski had X-rays done on the ankle the night he sprained it, but they came back negative and the rehab process began immediately. And that process is going a lot quicker than it might normally because Jankowski has rolled the same ankle before.

While playing basketball in high school at Lancaster Catholic, Jankowski suffered a level three sprain after landing on another player's foot.

"The trainers were saying the more you sprain them, the easier [it is] to recover from it," Jankowski said. "Because the ligaments are already stretched out or something like that. So it's a blessing, I guess."

It comes as no surprise that Jankowski is recovering quickly. He does everything quickly. That's his game. He has 137 career stolen bases in the Minor Leagues and has stolen five so far this season for San Diego.

"He's not necessarily limited," said Padres manager Andy Green. "He can get out there and he's going to run better than just about everybody in Major League Baseball on one leg.

"So I think he's good to go."

Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.