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Anderson declines rehab stint

Anderson declines rehab stint

ATLANTA -- Because he's collected just 49 plate appearances since signing with the Braves during the final week of February, there was reason to believe Garret Anderson would have wanted the chance to see pitching before jumping back into action.

But per his right, Anderson declined Braves management's request that he experience a short Minor League rehab stint before coming off the disabled list. He is eligible for activation on Tuesday and would have the opportunity to make the short drive to suburban Atlanta to play for Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday.

But the 36-year-old outfielder, who has been sidelined since April 19 with a strained left calf, doesn't believe that he's missed enough time to warrant the need to go to the Minors for at least one game to re-acquaint himself with pitching. "I did a Minor League rehab in 2007 because I missed 50 or 60 games," Anderson said. "This is a little different. I did it then and in '04, when I missed like 50 games, I did it. But the last time I was on [the DL], I didn't feel that I needed to."

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While not providing any public comment, the Braves were surprised with Anderson's decision. Before attempting to play in his second Spring Training game on March 6, he strained his right calf and didn't return to action until the final week of the exhibition season.

Anderson aggravated his calf on April 8 and was unavailable to start the next four games. Just five days later, he strained his left hamstring while scoring from second base during an 11-1 victory. He has hit .200 in just 25 regular season at-bats this year.

"You want to take care of yourself to minimize the injuries," Anderson said. "You can work out as much as you want and do as much as you want, but you can still get hurt."

When Braves manager Bobby Cox pushed for club to sign Anderson in February, he was hoping the veteran outfielder, who has 2,373 career hits, would prove to be a productive everyday player.

But Anderson has provided indication that he could be a defensive liability. In addition, his long periods of inactivity have prevented the chance to clearly determine whether he'll be a key contributor to the lineup.

Anderson, who is a man of few words and emotions, obviously admits that this isn't the way he wanted to begin his first Major League experience away from the Angels' organization, which had previously employed him since selecting him in the fourth round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft.

"It's not ideal," Anderson said. "But I didn't sit around worrying about it. It is what it is, and you do what you've got to do to get back playing. As players, you can't control everything. You can't go out there and just play safe. Injuries are a part of this game. "

Mark Bowman 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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