Gagne won't throw for week with knee sprain

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Eric Gagne's sprained knee ligament
didn't keep the Los Angeles Dodgers' closer from working out

Gagne hurt his left knee Thursday during the Dodgers' first
full-squad workout of spring training. He was diagnosed afterward
as having sustained a mild sprain, and an MRI exam Friday confirmed
the diagnosis.

"It's better today," Gagne said following his workout on an
elliptical machine and before the exam. "It's not sharp pain. I
did about an hour of cardio today. I know it's not [serious]. I'm
not a doctor, but I feel better today. I'm walking on it -- no

"I did everything today, my weights, everything."

Gagne has saved 152 games since 2002, a big-league record for
saves in three straight seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander
agreed to a $19 million, two-year contract last month.

When asked what would have happened had a similar injury
occurred during the season, trainer Stan Johnston said: "He'd be
taped and he'd be pitching."

"He's going to be on a day-to-day basis, probably won't throw
for about a week until we can get this thing calmed down,"
Johnston said. "I don't want him to stress the area. I don't think
we're worried about him making the team."

Dodgers manager Jim Tracy expressed relief even before the
examination because of Gagne's reaction.

"I don't detect any alarm in his voice," Tracy said. "He's a
workaholic. It's amazing what he does. This guy's workout regimen,
it's pretty hard to keep up with him."

Gagne was injured while playing pepper when one of his cleats
stuck. He said he'd never had any trouble with his left knee

The Dodgers' workout Friday was limited by heavy rain early in
the day, but Brad Penny got in his second bullpen session of the
spring after the rain stopped.

Penny sustained a rare nerve injury to his right biceps Aug. 8
that sidelined him for the last two months of the season and the
playoffs, except for one brief outing.

"All right -- a little bit better than last time," Penny said
of Friday's workout. "I threw more pitches, I know I got to 40.
I'm just taking it slow."

Penny said he threw a few breaking balls from flat ground, after
working from a mound, and plans to throw again Sunday.

"I threw harder than I did last time," he said. "I just do
whatever I feel. They've got a plan for me -- 'however you feel, let
us know.' "

Tracy said he believed Penny was able to
increase his effort from Wednesday.

"I would say he built himself up to 50 percent effort and
looked good in doing so," Tracy said. "I was very encouraged by

Tracy said he didn't know when Penny will be able to fully cut
loose. The Dodgers acquired Penny from Florida last July as part of
the Paul Lo Duca trade. He pitched eight shutout innings in his
first start for Los Angeles, but was injured in his second start
and again Sept. 22 in his final outing of the season.