Matsui’s knee not quite there yet?

A Bronx Tale for the ages
Mattingly out as Dodgers' hitting coach

My Baseball Bias tips us off to this post at the Let’s Go Yankees Blog about Hideki Matsui‘s knee. Let’s Go Yankees Blog sends us to an article on’s Japanese affiliate. Got all that? There will be a quiz.

The article, according to Jessica Lee’s Taiwan-based blog, concerns Hideki Matsui and his road to recovery. While I tried to run it through Google Translate’s Japanese-to-English Beta translate program, the output included the following line: “Godzilla’s ass with a fire.” Clearly, that’s not Matsui’s problem right now.

Lucky for us, Jessica lives with a Japanese-speaking roommate who gave us this translation:

Matsui is going to go to USA 10 days earlier in order to check his right knee condition with the doctor in New York who help him operate his right knee surgery. He will then go to Tampa to check his right knee condition with Yankee Trainers again. This is not a normal action which go to USA earlier for Matsui. He usually trains with his formal Japanese team and then reports in spring training.

Right now, Matsui doesn’t feel pain about his right knee, but he can’t run. He is not sure he can run or not when he reports to Tampa. He understands he has to fight with Johnny Damon for left outfielder job and wants to do his best. That’s why he decides to go to USA earlier.

So basically, Matsui is coming back to the States earlier than anticipated because his knee may not to be responding to treatment as quickly as it should. He can’t run and doesn’t know when he’ll be able to run.

If this holds up through Spring Training, the Yankees will be trying to fill both their DH and 1B positions from a combination of injured, old guys – Jason Giambi, Matsui – and young role players not yet suited for prime time – Wilson Betemit, Shelley Duncan. Good thing the rest of the offense is so potent.

A Bronx Tale for the ages
Mattingly out as Dodgers' hitting coach
  • Yankee Fan in Chicago

    I interpret that as Matsui saying not that he is physically unable to run, but rather than he was told by the doc not to run on it yet. I think he’s coming back to get an official ok from the docs and trainers to start working out b/c he feels he can’t afford to wait another month or so to start.

  • Jeff

    I read that he is definately not ready.
    I think he should play it conservatively, which is the usual Yankee aproach to injuries. To be honest I don’t think this is a bad thing… he was probably looking to be the odd man out anyway.
    This should give Giambi ample at bats and hopefully he will show he is still worth something. I know everyone here is skeptical but you never know… he has a good eye and maybe he puts the bat to the ball a little more.

    • Back Bay Yankee

      Unfortunately, no matter how well he hits he’s not worth the nearly A-Rod money he’s paid. I can see Giambi pushing the Conan wheel in the middle of the desert, but not much else.

      • RollignWave

        if you mean the 21 Mil due this year then yes but for the duration of his contract he’s made an average of 17M or so including the buyout money next year and signing bonus.

        during the first 6 season he’s lead the team in OPS 3 time and finished 2nd another time (to the MVP winner) so he’s been worth it those 4 year. and at his age i guess the injuries are expected.

        will he be worth 17M this year? unlikely, but not impossible.

  • trevor

    Though I have my doubts about Hideki, if given regular playing time, he probably will hit near .285 with 25 hr and 100 rbi

  • Pingback: Matsui’s Knee a Concern? « iYankees

  • Old Ranger

    Another thought on the bad knee is, maybe they will bring up (if he shows well in ST) Brett Gardner, or add a pitcher in the BP. If it is bad enough for him to go on the DL for 60 or so days, that isn’t very good. Hopefully, it is not a long time until he can return. Once he is ok’d to run, he needs to get in BB shape. A hitter can’t start hitting on one bad leg, it will really mess him up.

  • Cam

    “Godzilla’s ass with a fire.” That’s awesome. I needed that laugh. Thanks.

  • Lanny

    Lets be honest. Its a waste not having a productive guy playing 1b. The easiest position to find an offensive player and we cant do it?

    We cant find someone to add to a great lineup to make it even better??

    • Old Ranger

      Yes we could, if Godzilla could play 1st. I don’t know if he could or not, but it would be nice wouldn’t it? But in reality, I keep coming back to Shelley as a first baseman. I don’t think he was given much of a chance to show his stuff. He is 6’5″ so he makes a good target, now if he can field the position. He would also give us a power right handed bat.

  • RobertGKramer


    I have to pass! I’m in stiches. And I thought Peter Abraham was funny!

    No, I said elsewhere I can run faster than Giambi, so if I could hit I may win at age 66. You give me hope, and I was content just being a retired Packer Jersey. Remember Nitske…Notski…Nutsky ????? Ray?

  • RobertGKramer

    10 not none? Rizzuto? Chamblis? Pass!

  • TurnTwo

    we’ve got over 2 months before the first regular season game, right? and chances are, Matsui is the opening day DH anyway, so whats the worry all about?

  • Lauren

    See, this is why the Yankees should have unloaded his old, slow ass. Now we’re not only stuck with him but we have a huge hole in the outfield— AGAIN!!!

    • Ben K.

      What huge hole in the OF? No one was penciling Matsui in to be the starting left fielder. As like last year, Damon’s the starting left fielder and Matsui will DH.

  • nick blasioli

    what the heck is up with matsui,s knee…he had trouble with it all last year…the first order of business for him was to have surgery or what ever to get the knee right….i cant believe he is still hurting and cant even run…something wrong with this picture…..

  • eric from morrisania

    Damon, Giambi, Duncan, Betemit, Lane, and Matsui should ALL spend most of Spring Training learning 1B. Plus, Juan Miranda should get a long look too.

    And, speaking of 1B/DH types, why not throw more spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks?

    Mike Piazza? Dallas McPherson? Ryan Klesko? Sean Casey? Pedro Feliz? Eric Hinske? Russell Branyan? Corey Koskie? What do we have to lose? See if anyone catches lightning in a bottle.

  • eric from morrisania

    sorry… almost forgot Tony Clark.

  • Marshall Brown

    Bring Back Nick Johnson! Yes, the question always is, is he healthy?

    But imagine if you could slot him in the 7-8 hole in that lineup?

    If Nick is healthy and they want to keep him, maybe Dimitri Young would be available. He just came out of nowhere.

    Maybe a Karstens/Rasner/Marquez type pitcher or two does it, some spare parts.

    I just weep though imagining how it might have been if the Yanks had kept Carlos Pena last year after they pulled a Bagger Vance and helped him find his swing again.

    With 1B you never know who can emerge. Could be Duncan or Betemit.

    I agree it will be a shame if we are back to a Phillips/Josh Phelps/Mienky platoon given that 1B should be the most potent offensive position.