Lee rejoins Astros, out with bruised ribs

Outfielder Carlos Lee was back with the Houston Astros on

Tuesday, still hurting from a collision with teammate Angel Sanchez

that bruised the left side of his ribcage.

Lee was out of the starting lineup for the opening game of a

series against the Cincinnati Reds. He said there’s no telling when

he’ll be able to play.

”It’s still pretty sore,” he said. ”I guess I just get

treatment and see how it goes.”

Lee got hurt when Sanchez slid knee-first into his ribs while

they were chasing Mark Kotsay’s shallow fly ball during a 5-0 win

over Milwaukee on Sunday. He was taken off the field on a cart.

”There was some sharp pain that was way up there on the

scale,” said Lee, who hadn’t talked to reporters about the injury

until Tuesday. ”It felt like somebody was pushing everything from

the inside out, and there was pretty sharp pain.”

Tests at a hospital found no fracture. Lee flew to Cincinnati on

Monday evening, after the opening game of the series was postponed

because of rain.

Lee said nobody was to blame for the collision.

”That’s a ball that you’re in the middle of nowhere and we both

felt we had a chance to catch it,” he said. ”If I just keep going

straight in, you’re probably talking to Sanchez (about an injury)

instead of me. Basically, I saw his shadow coming and I kind of

slid away from him.”

Lee said the ribs bothered him more when he simulated a throwing

motion than when he acted as though he was swinging a bat.

”We’re going to wait and see how he is after treatments,”

manager Brad Mills said. ”We’re going to make sure he’s able to do

everything before we really look at him to go back in the

lineup.”