Saturday, May 05, 2001

Specialist eases concern about Larkin

No hernia; shortstop is day-to-day

By Tom Groeschen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Barry Larkin, who left Thursday's game with right groin tightness, received an encouraging report Friday following an examination by Dr. JoAnn Lohr, a general vascular surgeon.

        “One of the things that comes to mind is, does he have a hernia?” said Dr. Tim Kremchek, Reds medical director. “Does he have a weakness in his abdominal wall? Is there something else that's causing him a problem? The answer was no ... that was comforting to us.”

        Larkin was bothered by a strained right groin for much of spring training. This injury is “higher” and toward the inside portion (the adductor), Kremchek said.

        “I feel pretty good,” said Larkin, who did some pregame hitting and fielding. He leads the NL with a .467 on-base percentage.

        Kremchek said Larkin is day-to-day. Asked if Larkin could return to the lineup today, Kremchek said, “That depends on how he feels and how (manager) Bob (Boone) feels. (Larkin) feels 100-percent better today.”

        Aaron Boone (wrist) was back at third base Friday. Boone left Thursday night's game after being hit by a pitch, but said he felt much better Friday.

        Outfielder Deion Sanders (0-for-9 the previous two days) did not start. He grounded out pinch-hitting in the sixth inning. Sanders, who made a spectacular 3-for-3 debut Tuesday, was not benched for any particular reason.

        “It's nothing scientific,” Bob Boone said. “I'll be doing that with all the outfielders. Remember, he also had to face Kevin Brown (Wednesday), and that kid last night (the Dodgers' Luke Prokopec) pitched very well. When I have him or Tuck (Michael Tucker) sitting over there, that's quite a weapon off the bench.”


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