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Rays' Friedman: Speculation about Longoria injury 'premature'

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Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 04:50 AM
ST. PETERSBURG -

Tampa Bay Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman refused to speculate about third baseman Evan Longoria's left leg injury Tuesday until team doctors could examine Longoria later in the day.

Friedman called an early report Tuesday on Twitter that Longoria could be out six to eight weeks "premature" and said no tests have been performed on the injury, which he said involved the hamstring and/or knee.

Friedman said Longoria had not yet received an MRI exam.

"We'll see how he feels today and go from there," Friedman said.

Longoria will not play tonight and Friedman said he is not sure when the three-time All-Star will return, or if he eventually will end up on the disabled list.

"I don't know. I've been so wrong with these so many times where I felt positive and it was negative, where I felt negative and it was positive, so I've learned to let the doctors do their job and see how he feels," Friedman said. "He's been a very good healer over time. He's come back from things a little faster than we've anticipated in the past, so that factors in as well, but we'll see what happens."

Longoria injured his leg on a slide while attempting to steal second base in the third inning of Monday night's 3-2 win by the Rays over the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field.

Longoria's right foot got tangled with Seattle shortstop Brendan Ryan's left foot and his legs got extended as Ryan backed away from second base after tagging him out. Longoria grabbed his leg behind his left knee and winced before getting up and leaving the field.

He was replaced in the lineup by Elliot Johnson, who hit a game-winning RBI single for Tampa Bay in the bottom of the 12th inning.

For the season, though, Johnson is hitting just .182 with four hits in 22 at-bats. Longoria is hitting .329 with four home runs and 19 RBIs.

Friedman said the Rays can play shorthanded if Longoria needs less than a week to get back on the field.

If Longoria does end up on the disabled list, the Rays could call up Reid Brignac or Will Rhymes.

Longoria is no stranger to injuries or the disabled list.

He missed 30 games in the latter half of the 2008 season with a fractured wrist. Last year, Longoria was on the disabled list two games into the season because of a strained oblique. He also played through hamstring and foot injuries. He missed two weeks this spring after being struck on his right hand with a pitch during an intrasquad game.

The Rays lead the AL East with a 15-8 record and have won eight of their last nine games. They play the Mariners again at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.

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