Evan Longoria's return delayed
CLEVELAND -- Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon isn't sure when third baseman Evan Longoria will be healthy enough to return to the field.
Longoria has been sidelined since May 1 with a partially torn left hamstring. The Rays hoped he would be able to resume baseball activities soon, but Maddon said Saturday that will not happen until at least after the All-Star break.
"I have no idea when he's going to be able to play again," Maddon said before the Rays played the Cleveland Indians. "It's such a hard one to create conjecture with. If you wanted to bend to the negative side on this one you may have to as opposed to the positive side of it, meaning it will probably take more as opposed to less time to get him back on the field."
Longoria was shut down after he felt discomfort in the hamstring during a minor league rehab assignment last month.
"I just don't like hamstring injuries," Maddon said. "I know they're difficult. They're very tenuous at best. You can start feeling better and then you don't. It's a tough injury to overcome and a tough injury to battle back from."
The original diagnosis was Longoria would be sidelined six to eight weeks. It appears the Rays are preparing to be without the three-time All-Star until sometime in August.
Maddon said he talked with Andrew Friedman, the Rays' executive vice president of baseball operations, about the team's options with the July 31 trade deadline approaching.
"We normally don't do anything at that time," Maddon said. "We'll have to see how this plays out the rest of the month. Maybe someone will surface from within and take that job and run with it. These are great questions. I don't have the answers for them, but there's nothing really in the makings right now."
Longoria is batting .329 with four homers and 19 RBIs this season. The Rays had a 15-8 record when he played every inning of the team's first 23 games. They are 29-32 without him entering Saturday's game.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press