Joey Gallo has been battling a sore tendon in his left knee since spring training, but the Texas Rangers slugger hopes the four days off during the All-Star break will help it improve.
He was in the lineup Sunday for the first-half finale despite the injury flaring up a few days ago during a pinch-running appearance.
“It’s a lingering thing, but I’ll try to play through it,” said Gallo, who had last started on Wednesday. “I pinch-ran the other day and I felt it hurting a lot again. And then the other day, it started locking up on me and popping, so I just didn’t want to make this worse because I don’t know what it is. I’m just trying to be safe about it.”
The popliteus muscle is located behind the knee and can cause pain and discomfort.
“Athletes with this injury typically have tight hamstrings,” according to sportsinjuryclinic.net. “If the injury is severe, then straightening the knee fully will be difficult.”
Gallo said the injury was one reason why he declined an invitation to participate in Monday’s Home Run Derby in Miami.
“I knew I was battling this, so I didn’t want to go to Miami a little sore and have to take 300 swings,” he said. “I’m trying to be smart about it.”
Manager Jeff Banister hopes the break helps.
“I don’t know if we’ll completely knock it out. It’s something we’ve been managing since spring training. It’s part of the process of playing at this level on an everyday basis,” Banister said.