Kirk Nieuwenhuis was headed for a doctor’s examination after suffering a left-knee injury sliding into second base on a steal in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins.
Nieuwenhuis downplayed the injury, hoping it was only a “bad bruise.” But he slammed his helmet upon reaching the dugout and needed a cart to be transported from the dugout to the visitors’ clubhouse beyond the outfield wall after the inning.
“I probably could have limped, but it would have taken me a while,” said Nieuwenhuis, who could barely bend the knee postgame.
Nieuwenhuis said he thought his knee ligaments were intact, although Terry Collins said there appeared to be some looseness in the knee.
“It was on the slide,” Nieuwenhuis said. “I just hit it on something. Hopefully it’s just a bad bruise. When I went to go take my lead, it just kind of buckled a little bit, but I think the ligaments are OK. I haven’t seen a doctor yet, but I think I just have got a bad bruise. … I don’t think it’s that bad.”
Said Collins: “It was kind of giving away a little bit, so we’ll have him looked at when we get back.”
A day after Sandy Alderson suggested it could be 10 days until Johan Santana stepped on a mound, the southpaw decided to do so Sunday morning. Santana's light session was his first mound activity since Feb. 19.
The development comes after Mets officials had started to grouse about Santana arriving at camp with his arm shape unprepared.
Santana was agitated with the attention from reporters Sunday.
Johan Santana displayed displeasure for being portrayed as out of pitching shape. But pitching coach Dan Warthen thinks the negative press may have nudged Santana onto the mound Sunday for the first since Feb. 19.
“There were comments,” Warthen said. “Maybe they were motivational, even by the general manager, because he said he wasn’t going to be out there for a few days. And Johan said, ‘I’ll prove you guys are wrong.’ Maybe it was a pretty good motivational thing.”
Terry Collins again chatted with Santana on Sunday.
“I’m not surprised with anything he does,” Collins said. “This guy competes. He’s not happy with all the attention that something as minor as that has gotten. He’ll get himself ready.
“I said this morning, ‘Look, don’t let this stuff get to you.’ I said, ‘This is about getting you ready. And if it’s April 1, terrific. If it’s April 5, great. If it’s April 15, that’s the way it is. But it’s about you being able to run out there 30 times next summer. If that means we’re going to have to slow the pace down, then we’ll do it.’”
Said Warthen: “He threw the ball very well today. We’ve seen that for the last week, where we’re seeing more power come every day. The arm is getting in shape and I’m pretty excited about what’s happening.”