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Upton Doing Agility Drill Pre-Game Thursday
A few of us within the inner sanctum of the Rays Republic gasped aloud on Tuesday evening when in the top of the first inning Tampa Bay Rays Centerfielder B J Upton seem to get his right cleat stuck in the Trop’s Field Turf, and then came down ackward onto his left ankle. Upton immediately went to the turf and was holding his upper ankle region when Rays Head Trainer Ron Porterfield and Rays Manager Joe Maddon strolled out to see the extent of Upton’s injury.
After a few minutes lying on the turf, Porterfield assisted Upton to his feet and they tried to put adequate weight on his left ankle. After a few more minutes of flexing and checking Upton’s balance, Maddon decided to replace Upton with Ben Zobrist more to “err on the side of caution” than to try and agitate the injury any more than was needed. Upton made his way off the field under his own power, but had a distinctive limp to his step and immediately Porterfield and the Rays Medical Staff went to work on Upton’s injury.
After the game that evening, Maddon advised the Rays fans and media that Upton’s injury seemed to be a ankle sprain, but for caution, Upton would get a few days off to secure his services again on Friday when the New York Yankees head into Tropicana Field for a key end of the month match-up. Upton would be under the supervision of the Rays training staff for those two days, and then another injury acessment would be made by game time on Friday evening.
Upton was seen before today’s matinee series ending game against the Detroit Tigers doing agility drills and running movement with Rays Strength and Conditioning Coach Kevin Barr. Both walked out to the Rightfield corner and did a few agility drills and stretches before Barr observed Upton doing curly Q running patterns and multiple hard turning drills to check on the strength of his ankle.
With a thumbs up from Upton as he walked by today, I think we can safely guess that Upton will be back patrolling Centerfield tomorrow night when the Yankees invade Tampa Bay again. After watching Gabe Kapler, who started in Centerfield for the afternoon contest get tied up and running after a ball in the RF gap that Upton would have gotten to in 3 strides, it is a good thing we will have our best defensive Centerfield player back on the turf and running at full speed again tomorrow night.
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