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09/08/08 7:55 PM ET
Cameron returns to Brewers' lineup
Outfielder deemed fit to play after testing injured knee
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Mike Cameron's left knee is not 100 percent, but it's apparently good enough. Cameron returned to the Brewers' starting lineup on Monday after missing two starts with what he called a "mild sprain" of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. He suffered the injury during Friday's win over the Padres when he slipped on a loose piece of turf in center field. "My knees are everything for me," Cameron said. "You don't want to be playing around with [an injury] like that, so I waited until the pain was tolerable." Cameron tested the joint with some running drills on Monday afternoon and was deemed fit to play. He's one of the Brewers' hottest hitters, batting .337 with eight home runs and 20 RBIs over his last 27 games. "He's fine," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He came in today and we got him loosened up, we got him in the whirlpool, he went in the [batting] cage and took some swings and felt fine, and then came out here and did some agility stuff, some running, and felt fine." Cameron complained Monday about the uneven outfield surface at Miller Park, which will be replaced after the season. "I've said from the beginning that somebody is going to get hurt here," Cameron said. "I know they're doing the best they can, but it's not good. I've kind of been dealing with it, but I'm always slipping." Director of grounds Gary Vanden Berg said the turf will be replaced after the season with the same strain of "Lo-Mo" Kentucky bluegrass that was installed on the infield over the All-Star break. The new turf is more aggressive and dense, can be cut much shorter than the old grass, and has a base of sand instead of the sand-and-clay mix that is under the outfield. The Lo-Mo bluegrass is also in place at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Coors Field in Denver, and at both Chicago ballparks, and Vanden Berg said Monday that he believes it will be less likely to come up in chunks under players' cleats. The infield has drawn positive reviews from players, but the outfield will have to wait. "That's too big a project to be done in-season," Vanden Berg said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.