PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Rays outfielders B.J. Upton and Desmond Jennings were counting their blessings Wednesday after coming out of a nasty collision with nothing more than what the team described as "general soreness."
The two collided at full speed in the fourth inning of Wednesday's game with Miami while chasing a liner that turned into an inside-the-park home run by the Marlins' Austin Kearns.
Both stayed on the ground for several minutes, and Upton appeared to be writhing in pain. Eventually, both were carted off the field and examined by the team's medical staff.
But afterward, Jennings, who was playing left field, reported he was fine, even saying he didn't expect to miss any time.
"I'm good to go tomorrow," he said.
Upton said he was "definitely sore," but said he came out of the collision with "nothing that's going to affect me in a couple of days."
Both, however, understood just how lucky they were.
"That's something that could end people's careers," Jennings said. "We've got to do a better job of avoiding that situation. It was a pretty scary situation to be in."
"He just hit me in the perfect spot," Upton said. "We both had a chance to get to it. We called it at the same time. But luckily, we saw each other, so we were able to brace for the hit. If not, we'd have hit face to face."
Upton said his lower back was sore but otherwise wasn't specific about his condition.
"I don't think it's anything that will put me out for a while," he said. "We'll just go day to day and see how I feel."
Jennings, once a junior-college All-American wide receiver before pursuing professional baseball, said he was relieved to be feeling good.
"It just kind of scared me, more so than it hurt," he said. "I feel good."
Asked to describe what happened, Jennings said: "I want to see it again. I don't know. I just felt like I saw it happening and just tried to brace at the last minute. But I don't know what happened. I want to see it again."
"You always worry about it," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "You don't want anybody to get hurt in a spring-training game. I was glad when (manager Joe) Maddon told me (they were fine). I was very worried. You don't want to see people carried off the field."