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Torii Hunter aggravates groin injury but appears to be OK

March 7, 2010 |  9:23 am

Torii Tempe, Ariz. -- Just two games into the exhibition season, Angels center fielder Torii Hunter aggravated the groin injury that forced him to have a sports hernia operation in November.

Hunter, who suffered the initial injury when he crashed into walls in Dodger Stadium in late May and in San Francisco in mid-June, said he felt close to 100% when he arrived at camp.

But on a double he lined off the left-field wall against Colorado in Tempe Diablo Stadium on Friday, Hunter slid too early into second base, his knee stuck a little in the ground, and he felt a little "pop" in the area of the operation.

"It was just some scar tissue in the incision breaking up," Hunter said. "When I heard it, I was like, 'What the heck just happened? The doctors were so relaxed. I was like, 'Are you guys not worried?' It was pretty funny. They told me there will be a point where it will pop totally and you'll be scared for a minute, and then I'll be fine. So, I guess that's the process." 

Hunter did not play Saturday and he was not in the lineup for Sunday's game against Oakland, which was rained out. But he said he felt a lot better Monday morning and he was able to take batting practice, run the bases lightly and shag some balls in the outfield.

With the Angels scheduled to make an hour-long drive to Surprise, Ariz., for a game against the Texas Rangers on Monday, Hunter said, with a grin, "I'll probably be a little sore Monday morning." Translation: Hunter won't play on Monday, but he'll probably be back in the lineup Tuesday at home against the San Diego Padres.

-- Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Torii Hunter catches a fly ball during spring training on Feb. 23. Credit: Eric Risberg / Associated Press