Edmonds to be sidelined 2-3 weeks

Edmonds to be sidelined 2-3 weeks

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jim Edmonds' availability for Opening Day is in jeopardy, as the right calf strain he suffered on Thursday looks more serious than the team originally thought.

Edmonds had an MRI on his calf on Friday and the preliminary diagnosis is that he will miss at least two to three weeks, according to general manager Kevin Towers.

"There's still a chance he could be ready for the start of the season," Towers said of the 37-year-old Edmonds, whom the Padres traded for in December.

The Padres will open the regular season at PETCO Park on March 31 against the Astros.

Edmonds will meet with a team specialist, Dr. Daniel Keefe, on Saturday to discuss the result of the MRI, but the team is moving forward under the assumption Edmonds won't be in uniform for quite a while.

Towers indicated that Edmonds had suffered a similar injury to his right calf earlier in his career, though not to the extent of this particular injury. Edmonds, who wasn't available for comment Friday, told Towers the pain in the calf felt like "he thought the bat hit him."

"I'm guarded on this one," San Diego manager Bud Black told reporters shortly after the Padres defeated the Diamondbacks, 6-3, in Peoria. "I'm hoping for the best."

Edmonds suffered the injury in his at-bat in the first inning of the Padres' victory over the Rockies in Peoria when he bolted from the box after hitting a fly ball to center field. He remained in the game for one more inning before being replaced by Callix Crabbe.

The injury to Edmonds -- who hasn't played more than 120 games in each of the last two seasons because of injuries -- means the Padres will look at a handful of players as they move forward in Cactus League play.

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The Padres will use several players in center field, including Scott Hairston, who started there on Friday and had two hits, including a home run. Crabbe and non-roster invitees Jody Gerut and Jeff DaVanon will also see time in center field.

"Those are the guys with Major League experience, with the exception of Crabbe. We'll see if they can handle center field. We think they can. We'll work our way through this as long as Jimmy is out," Black said.

Towers said that it's too soon to know if the team will pursue an outside option to address their center field needs and that "we're not close to any trades."

"We're not going to rush into it. We'll wait a week to 10 days to see how Jimmy is doing. It will give us a chance to look at these other guys to see how they handle center field."

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