<
>

Second opinion: Tigers' Polanco now thinks he'll play

CHICAGO -- Detroit Tigers second baseman Placido Polanco
said Monday he hopes to play this weekend at Kansas City,
contradicting his assessment a day earlier when he stated he was
finished for the season because of a separated left shoulder.

"I was very confused yesterday," Polanco said. "I said it
because I was really frustrated about a lot of things. We had just
lost the game that we should have won, I'm not able to do anything
and my arm is extremely hurting."

A contrite Polanco said a cortisone shot he got Saturday, the
first of his career, had initially caused him pain that was similar
to the discomfort he felt in the days following the injury. That's
one factor he blamed in his premature season-ending declaration. He
was also upset by the Tigers' 10-inning loss to the Baltimore
Orioles.

Polanco was put on the disabled list on Aug. 16 after hurting
the shoulder making a tumbling catch at Boston. The first-place
Tigers are 11-20 without him in the lineup and their once
comfortable lead had shrunk to just one game over the Minnesota
Twins entering play Monday.

Polanco said his shoulder felt much better on Monday and he was
able to take batting practice before the Tigers opened a key
three-game series with the third-place Chicago White Sox.

"I do apologize about yesterday," Polanco said. "It was
frustration. I was in a lot of pain. I regret it. I should have
never said it."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland refused to discuss his injured second
baseman's situation, saying: "Don't talk to me about Polanco. Next
question."

Polanco is batting .294 with three homers and 44 RBI.
Neifi Perez started at second base Monday night.