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Berry dealing with lingering patellar tendinitis

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Add Quintin Berry to the burgeoning list of injured Tigers outfielders. This one, however, has some history to it.

With Detroit already missing Brennan Boesch and Andy Dirks, Berry was scheduled to start in center field for Tuesday's game against the Astros. However, he's dealing with patellar tendinitis and was held back from the trip.

Manager Jim Leyland said Berry told him he could play, but they decided to be cautious. That suggests it shouldn't be a lingering concern. Yet Leyland also said the injury dates back to the end of last season.

An offseason of rest was expected to alleviate Berry's tendinitis, but Leyland said it apparently flares up at times.

With Berry out, Rule 5 Draft pick Jeff Kobernus -- who is competing for playing time in left field -- played all nine innings in center. Nick Castellanos started in left field for the second straight day.

"We'll just have to wait and see," Leyland said. "I'm not going to get too excited about it. It's nobody's fault. It just means that other guys will get a little more playing time. But I've got to really be careful with that, because it's too early to be pounding guys into the ground, playing them too much."

If Berry's tendinitis lingers, one possible concern would be how much of an impact it might have on his speed if it flares up some more. The difference his speed makes, both on the bases and in the field, was the main reason he forged a role on the roster this past summer. If it's going to be an issue, the Tigers will have to watch him.

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