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Monroe exits with right ankle injury

Monroe exits with right ankle injury

CHICAGO -- Tigers left fielder Craig Monroe was still looking for a replay on Wednesday night after spraining his right ankle leaping into the fence. He's also looking for a timetable.

Monroe tried to make a leaping grab on Scott Podsednik's third-inning triple. The ball hit off the top of the left-field fence as Monroe went crashing in. Replays showed his right foot against the padding of the wall, turning the ankle.

"I think my spikes got caught," Monroe said. "It happened so fast, I don't know."

The mechanics of the play suggested Monroe was readying to rob a home run, not try to steal a triple.

"I just remember going back," he said. "I saw the swing, and I knew it was coming my way, so I took off. I just remember seeing the ball and thinking I have to jump, because this looks like it's going to be a home run. Right before the wall, I felt the track and I thought to jump, because that was the only chance I had of catching it. So I jumped, and as I was coming down, my only thought was to maybe try to catch the wall [and hang there]."

Monroe stood up after the play, but was clearly gimpy. After a few seconds, both he and center fielder Curtis Granderson signaled for help. At that point, Monroe admitted, he was afraid he had broken the ankle.

"That was the scary part," he said. "It started burning a bit."

Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand and manager Jim Leyland eventually helped him off the field. X-rays after the game were negative, suggesting no fracture. He'll be re-evaluated on Thursday.

How the Tigers fill his spot while he's out could be a challenge. Detroit was already down a hitter with Dmitri Young on the 15-day disabled list. They finally added an extra outfielder on Tuesday by calling up Alexis Gomez from Triple-A Toledo. If the Tigers start Gomez in left field and Marcus Thames at DH, their only outfielder available off the bench would be utility infielder Omar Infante, who has played center fielder sparingly in his career.

Monroe entered Wednesday batting .237 with 10 home runs and 28 RBIs in 57 games in his first season as Detroit's everyday left fielder.

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

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