Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Clevenger out 6 weeks with left oblique strain

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Cubs catcher/infielder Steve Clevenger knew immediately he had badly injured his left oblique when he swung and struck out to end Saturday's game against the Giants.
``I knew exactly what it was,'' he said Sunday. ``It felt like someone had stuck a knife in my side. The reason I didn't get up right away was I couldn't catch my breath.''
The strain will mean Clevenger --who suffered the same type of strain on his right side last season --will miss at least six weeks.
``They told me six weeks last time, too, but I came back in about four to five,'' he said. ``It's definitely frustrating because I worked my butt off this winter to get in shape and strong and this happens.''
Clevenger strained his right oblique last season during a batting practice swing.
``The muscle there is so thin, you have to let it recover,'' he said of prescribed extended rest. ``It's definitely frustrating, but at the same time I'm determined not to let it get me. I'll do my work and be ready to come back.
``It was just a freak accident,'' he said, adding he had warmed up and stretched as usual before the pinch hit at-bat.
``[Cold] weather may be a factor, but really it's just a freak accident,'' he said. ``It's different than a strained quad.''
The Cubs will wait until Tuesday to put Clevenger on the disabled list because second baseman Darwin Barney returns from his injury rehab that day for the three-game series against the Texas Rangers.
But not having Clevenger, a lefthanded hitter, will impact how manager Dale Sveum uses his bench.
``The bench was able to work correctly with three catchers, and two of them lefthanded and [Dioner] Navarro a switch hitter,'' Sveum said. ``It's very unfortunate because [Clevenger] came into spring in great shape and worked hard, and then to have something that violent happen.''
Sveum said he will have to be ``choosier'' about using Navarro in a pinch hitting role as the only backup catcher now. ``Or tell [Welington] Castillo `don't get hurt,' '' he said.

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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on April 14, 2013 11:10 AM.

Giants' 3-2 victory a lesson in winning was the previous entry in this blog.

BARNEY'S TAKE-CHARGE STRENGTHS is the next entry in this blog.

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