Stanton's wrist OK, but inflamed knee a concern

Stanton's wrist OK, but inflamed knee a concern

Stanton's wrist OK, but inflamed knee a concern
JUPITER, Fla. -- Best-case scenario, Giancarlo Stanton will be back in game action sometime next week.

For Stanton, his left wrist is no longer an issue. The Marlins slugger is keeping a closer eye on his left knee. An MRI revealed inflammation, but no structural damage.

"I've just got a little bit of inflammation in the knee," Stanton said. "A couple of days, we'll see how long it takes. I don't know."

Stanton is confident he will be ready for the season opener on April 4 against the Cardinals at Marlins Park.

Ideally, manager Ozzie Guillen wants all of his regulars going every day for the final 10 games of the exhibition season. That timetable would begin on March 24.

"We're working towards it," Stanton said. "It all depends on how it responds, and all that good stuff. We're trying to get there ASAP."

Stanton was struck on the left wrist Sunday by a fastball thrown by the Mets' Chris Schwinden. The wrist is no longer an issue, as Stanton is swinging the bat pain-free.

Of late, the Miami right fielder has been more concerned with his knee, which he had tested. Stanton doesn't recall how he aggravated the knee, but he noted it bothered him on occasion in 2011.

If Stanton isn't ready by March 24, he hopes to see game action no later than the April 1-2 exhibitions against the Yankees at Marlins Park. The season opens two days later against the Cardinals in Miami, and he would have to play in exhibitions before the regular season got under way.

"Obviously, I want to play now," Stanton said. "But I'd rather be ready for those April 1 or 2 games."

Due to the ailments, Stanton has appeared in four Grapefruit League games, and he has nine at-bats.

Stanton also dealt with injury last Spring Training, when he was hindered by a strained right quadriceps. He appeared in six Grapefruit League games and he had 18 at-bats.

The lost time in the spring, however, didn't greatly impact his regular season. Stanton paced the Marlins with 34 homers and 87 RBIs in 2011.

Still, lost time now takes away part of his preparation.

"Obviously, timing and rhythm -- it varies how long it takes to get back after you've been down for a while," Stanton said. "When you just started and have to stop, that varies."

If Stanton needs more at-bats, he can do so by going to Minor League camp, where they can get him extra plate appearances.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.