Thomas' MRI shows strain and inflammation in area just above knee

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Frank Thomas' tender right knee is so inflamed he figures he might be headed for the disabled list to let it calm down and fully heal.

The Oakland Athletics were discussing that after Wednesday night's game because they will probably need a player or two Thursday. Outfielder Ryan Sweeney fouled a ball off his left toe in a 2-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays and was having X-rays after the game.

"We're talking about that as a possibility," manager Bob Geren said of Thomas going on the DL.

The Big Hurt got hurt Tuesday night on his 40th birthday stretching out a double and underwent an MRI exam Wednesday that showed a strain and inflammation in the area just above his knee where it connects to the quadriceps muscle.

"The MRI looks pretty bad," Thomas said. "When you're messing with a tendon that big with my age, it could rupture and that would take a long time. We've got plenty of time right now. They want to rest it and get the swelling out. It doesn't bother me hitting but after last night I couldn't push off."

Losing Thomas as designated hitter in the cleanup spot would be a blow for the A's. He is 11-for-24 (.458) with four home runs and six RBIs in seven games on the team's current homestand. He has hit four of his seven homers in 2008 since being released by the Blue Jays on April 20 and rejoining Oakland four days later.

In 2006, he remade himself with the A's -- batting .270 with a team-leading 39 home runs and 114 RBIs in 137 games. He had missed all but 108 games the previous two seasons with the White Sox because of injury.

Thomas hasn't had such an injury before.

"It wasn't too encouraging," said Thomas, who's been getting treatment on the knee for a couple of weeks now. "I'm happy it wasn't torn. It's one of those frustrating injuries. It's strained and there's lots of inflammation. It's really painful walking up stairs. I had a lot of Adrenalin on that double. That's the fastest I've been in a while. I've been running a lot [on the bases] lately."