Feeling better, Hunter sits after collision

Feeling better, Hunter sits after collision

SAN FRANCISCO -- There was residual pain in his right rib cage and in his back, but Angels center fielder Torii Hunter was feeling better on Tuesday than he'd anticipated when he left AT&T Park late Monday night after a violent collision with the wall in left-center against the Giants.

X-rays taken after the game showed his rib cage, the area of most concern, to be normal. Hunter said he slept well and "woke up feeling pretty good."

"I'm a little groggy," said Hunter, who was replaced in center field on Tuesday by Gary Matthews Jr. "I stopped taking medication around 8 this morning, and I'm pretty sure it's wearing off now.

"I keep challenging the wall, and the wall is 16-0 -- I'm 0-16. This was more like Mike Tyson in his prime. It gave me a body blow. This wall's pretty stout."

Hunter, who has appeared in 59 of the club's 62 games, leads his team in homers (16), RBIs (51) and slugging percentage (.616), while batting .319. He is holding out a slender hope that he'll get the green light from manager Mike Scioscia to play in the series finale on Wednesday against Tim Lincecum, the Giants' reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.

"We can close the door [to his office], and Mike's going to say, `I hope you understand,'" Hunter said, grinning. "When I was younger, there was no way I'd take a day off. I'm older now, a little smarter.

"I keep hearing take three days off [with Thursday's off-day]. I do want to play. I'd like to face Lincecum. Whether I succeed or not, I'd like to face him. It's up to Mike. I'm going to go in there and plead my case. But he's the judge."

Judge and jury. Scioscia indicated he was disinclined to give Hunter a crack at Lincecum, but he didn't slam that door shut.

"He probably could [play], but we're going to make sure he's 100 percent," Scioscia said. "We'll see how he is. If he could play [Wednesday], he'd have a day to recover when we get back home. We're definitely leaning toward holding him out until Friday."

That's when the Angels open a three-game Freeway Series against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.