Griffey should be ready for spring training
By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer
January 9, 2007
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Ken Griffey Jr.'s broken left hand should be fully healed before the Cincinnati Reds start spring training next month, his agent said Tuesday.
Griffey broke his throwing hand in an accident at home last month and had it placed in a hard cast. X-rays over the weekend indicated that it was healing as expected. He will be examined again in about 10 days.
"From our conversations from the medical people, we don't expect it to linger into even the beginning of spring training," agent Brian Goldberg said Tuesday in a telephone interview.
The Reds open spring training in Sarasota, Fla., on Feb. 17. The voluntary reporting date for position players is Feb. 21.
Details of the accident and the injury have been kept private, at Griffey's request. The outfielder wants to wait until he reports for spring training to discuss what happened.
"It's all just respecting Junior's request to tell all of the local media at the same time what happened when he gets to spring training," Goldberg said.
The 37-year-old Griffey has become more reluctant to talk about injuries over the years. Since he came to his hometown team in a trade before the 2000 season, he has spent a lot of time overcoming injuries.
Griffey has been on the disabled list eight times since 2000. Last year, he missed nearly a month early in the season because of swelling behind his right knee. He sat out 22 of the last 24 games after dislocating a toe.
Overall, he hit .252 with 27 homers and 72 RBIs in 109 games, his fourth-highest total with the Reds. He finished the season with 563 homers, tying Reggie Jackson for 10th place on the career list. His 1,608 RBIs rank 22nd on the career list, which goes back to 1920 when it became an official statistic.
The various injuries -- torn hamstrings, torn knee tendon, dislocated shoulder, torn ankle tendon, dislocated toe -- severely diminished his playing time and his ranking as one of the game's top players.
For three years in a row, Griffey didn't play in more than 83 games in a season. He finally played a full season in 2005, when he won the NL comeback player award for hitting .301 with 35 homers in 128 games.
Griffey has two seasons left on the $116.5 million, nine-year contract he signed when he came to Cincinnati. He will get $12.5 million each of the next two seasons, with $6.5 million deferred each year. There's an option for 2009 at $16.5 million, with a $4 million buyout.