DETROIT -- If it were up to Carlos Guillen, he'd be the Tigers' starting second baseman next season.
Sure, he'd like to return to the lineup before this year is over. But with the deep bone bruise in his left knee taking longer than expected to heal, it seems more and more unlikely by the day that he will be healthy enough to return with only 3 1/2 weeks left in the season.
"I'd like to, but I don't make that decision," Guillen said when asked if he wanted to play second base next season. "I was feeling pretty good out there."
If Guillen's season is over, he'll finish with a .273 average, six home runs and 34 RBIs in 68 games played, which would be his lowest games-played total in any season since 1999. The announcement of his season being finished could come as early as Thursday, when he'll travel to New York to meet with Dr. Russell Warren, who first examined his knee after the Yankees' Brett Gardner slid into it nearly three weeks ago.
"I'll work in the same way and prepare myself the same for every year," Guillen said of his offseason preparations if his season is over. "I got hurt in the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs. Things happen. There's nothing you can do about it. It doesn't matter how you prepare yourself before the season. Things happen during the game."
Guillen isn't apprehensive to play at second base again. In fact, he'd prefer the constant motion that comes with playing in the infield, opposed to the stop-and-go motions that accompany playing in the outfield.
Nonetheless, injuries happen in baseball -- and Guillen knows it better than most.
"Maybe you get hit by a pitch and you don't play for two months," he said. "I'm not afraid [to play second base]. I've been through this before. What are you gonna do?"