Padres' shaky outfield dealt another blow with Edmonds' injury

PEORIA, Ariz. -- San Diego Padres center fielder Jim Edmonds is expected to miss two to three weeks with a strained right calf, a setback for a team that was a bit shaky in the outfield to begin with.

"I'm guarded on this one," manager Bud Black said Friday afternoon, several hours after the 37-year-old Edmonds had an MRI exam. "I'm hoping for the best that hopefully it'll be a couple of weeks, that's it. I think it will become clearer tomorrow."

Edmonds is scheduled to be seen by a team doctor on Saturday.

General manager Kevin Towers later said Edmonds could miss two to three weeks, a timeframe that could push his return close to opening day.

Edmonds was hurt breaking out of the batter's box during Thursday's game against the Colorado Rockies.

"It's a little stiff," Edmonds said after returning from getting the MRI. "I don't have any concerns about it right now. I'm just kind of waiting to see what's going to happen.

"With all I went through this winter and being with a new team, all I can say is it's not what I'm looking for," Edmonds added. "Other than that I'm just going to try to do the best I can to get back on the field as soon as possible."

Edmonds was acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in December.

He got off to a slow start last year, batting just .222 in April, after having offseason surgery on his right shoulder and a left toe. Edmonds wound up batting .252 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs -- his lowest totals since 1999 with the Angels.

Edmonds went through an extensive offseason workout program.

With Edmonds out, the Padres will look at Scott Hairston, Jody Gerut, Jeff DaVanon and Callix Crabbe in center field. Hairston also is in the mix in left field, but Towers said he'll probably see more time in center in the next few weeks.

In December, the Padres lost out in the bidding for Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukodome, who signed with the Chicago Cubs. When they couldn't agree to a deal to keep center fielder Mike Cameron, the Padres traded for Edmonds.

Right fielder Brian Giles is coming off microfracture surgery on his right knee but says he should be ready by opening day.

Towers said the Padres will probably wait a week to 10 days to see how Edmonds is doing before deciding if they need to look outside the organization.