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Stanton battling inflammation in left knee, likely out another week

JUPITER -- It looks like Giancarlo Stanton will be out at least for another week.

The Marlins starting right fielder and clean-up hitter said Friday an MRI performed Wednesday revealed "a little bit of inflammation in his left knee" and he'll wait a couple days before being reevaluated.

Manager Ozzie Guillen said Thursday he didn't think the injury was anything major. Stanton doesn't either. But the issue now is how much time -- and potential at-bats -- he'll miss this spring. 

Guillen said Thursday he would like to have the entire Marlins lineup ready to go about 10 days before the start of the season (March 24th). Asked if he thought he would be back by then, Stanton said: "We're working towards it."

"It all depends on how it responds. I'm trying to get there," he said.

Stanton said if he can't make it back by the 24th, he'd at least like to return by the exhibition games April 1st and 2nd against the Yankees at Marlins Park "so he's not going straight into the season."

The Marlins obviously want to take a cautious approach and still prepare Stanton for the season. Stanton said he could just play in minor league games during spring training to get at-bats.

Stanton said Friday he isn't sure when he hurt his left knee, but played through similar knee pain and swelling last season.

Stanton is 2-for-9 with no homers and no RBI in four Grapefruit League games this spring. He was hit in the wrist by a pitch against the Mets last Sunday. But the wrist he said is no longer an issue. 

Stanton played in just six Grapefruit League games last spring (7 for 18, 2 HRs, 10 RBI) because of knee and hamstring issues. But he went on to lead to the Marlins with 34 home runs during the regular season.

LINEUPS

> Marlins vs. Cardinals (Friday in Jupiter): 1. Jose Reyes SS, 2. Emilio Bonifacio CF, 3. Hanley Ramirez 3B, 4. Gaby Sanchez 1B, 5. Omar Infante 2B, 6. Austin Kearns RF, 7. Aaron Rowand LF, 8 Brett Hayes C, 9. Mark Buehrle P.

> Marlins vs. Twins (Saturday in Jupiter): 1. Jose Reyes SS, 2. Omar Infante 2B, 3. Hanley Ramirez 3B, 4. Gaby Sanchez 1B, 5. Austin Kearns RF, 6. Chris Coghlan LF, 7. Aaron Rowand CF, 8. Brett Hayes C, 9. Ricky Nolasco P.

> Marlins at Nationals (Saturday in Viera): 1. Emilio Bonifacio CF, 2. Donnie Murphy SS, 3. John Buck C, 4. Terry Tiffee 1B, 5. Brian Petersen LF, 6. Scott Cousins RF, 7. Donovan Solano 2B, 8. Matt Dominguez 3B, 9. Tom Koehler P.

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