LOS ANGELES -- Angels right fielder Torii Hunter spent most of Saturday morning in the trainer's room, getting treatment on a rib contusion suffered making a spectacular catch on Wednesday night in Miami against the Marlins.
His streak of having played every game ended at 76 on Friday night, and it's unknown when he'll be back in the lineup. Even he doesn't know.
"Still pretty sore," he said, grinning. "We'll see how it goes. You know me: I want to be out there now. But you have to be smart with these injuries. Come back too soon, and you might regret it."
In 2009, in the midst of his best season offensively, Hunter crashed into walls at Dodger Stadium on May 22 and then at San Francisco on June 15. He sat one game and then played on until July 7, when he could no longer fight through the pain. Missing almost six weeks, he still put together superb numbers, driving in 90 runs with 22 homers and a .299 batting average. But he'll always wonder what would have happened if he hadn't missed that chunk of the season.
"It would've been my best year, no doubt," he said. "It was still a good year. But I think I could have had career highs in just about everything."
When he collided with the wall in May 2009, robbing the Dodgers' Matt Kemp of extra bases in center field, Hunter was among the American League leaders in multiple categories. He was hitting .319 with a .616 slugging mark and 1.013 OPS (on-base plus slugging).
Angels manager Mike Scioscia knows he has to be careful monitoring Hunter, who actually wanted to stay in the game in Florida after he finally got to a sitting position after being down for four minutes.
"When you damage a muscle around your oblique, it might be a little tight," Scioscia said. "If you pop that thing, you might miss six or eight weeks. If he admits he's sore, you know he's sore."