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Stanton lifted in third inning with right knee discomfort, All-Star Game, HR Derby in question

ST. LOUIS -- Marlins All-Star slugger Giancarlo Stanton left Saturday's game in the third inning with right knee discomfort.

The 22-year old All-Star was making his first start since Monday when he tweaked his troublesomeknee against the Brewers. Stanton was replaced by Scott Cousins when it was his turn to hit in the third inning.

In the first inning, Stanton made a running catch against the wall in right center field off the bat of Rafael Furcal. Stanton later singled to right in the second and scored on Justin Ruggiano's home run. He didn't show any signs of discomfort. 

The Marlins have yet to comment as to how long Stanton may be out, but the team told Stanton they wanted him to play in both Saturday and Sunday's games against the Cardinals if he was going to be given the green light to participate in Monday night's Home Run Derby and the 83rd All-Star Game Tuesday night in Kansas City.

Friday, Stanton came in as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and struckout in his only plate appearance. That happened just a few hours after he tested his knee out under the supervision of the Marlins training staff. Stanton told reporters afterward while his knee felt "weird," he would return to the lineup Saturday and would participate in the All-Star festivities.

Stanton said Friday he will eventually need surgery to remove the “loose bodies’’ in his knee. But for now, he is looking to manage his knee with treatment.

“The muscles around it, my knee are not used to something bouncing around in there,” he said.

“... What we don’t want to happen is for it to get stuck in some place it shouldn’t, and make ligament damage. [But] the risk of that isn’t very high. It would lock up and tell me to stop before that. So, go from there.”

Stanton, who leads the team with 19 homers and 50 RBI, said he has to monitor the way he plays closely. “I’ve got to read my body,” he said. “If I’m changing the way I run or hit or anything, then that is going to lead to other problems and change the way I play on the field.”

As long as the Marlins remain in the playoff hunt, and he doesn’t think he will create any further damage, Stanton said, he will hold off on a procedure until after the season.

“I’ve had knee problems before, so I’m not new to the fact of managing it,” Stanton said Friday. “It’s just new to this feeling. I know my body well. So, it’s just a matter of what’s it going to do, and tell me.”

If the knee requires surgery before the season ends, Stanton said, he was told it could mean him missing two to eight weeks.

“It’s a big gap, but it all depends to the reaction to it,” he said. “It just depends. I didn’t have a lot of swelling or bruising. So that means it would be however my knee reacts to being cut open.”