New York Mets outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was forced to leave Sunday's exhibition game against the Miami Marlins because of bruised knee.
Nieuwenhuis, projected as the Mets starting center fielder on opening day, was injured when trying to steal second base in the seventh inning during a 6-4 loss to the Marlins. He was helped off the field and placed on a cart in the dugout and transported to clubhouse beyond the outfield wall in Jupiter, Fla.
Nieuwenhuis downplayed the injury, according to ESPNNewYork.com, saying, "I probably could have limped (to the clubhouse), but it would have taken me a while."
He could barely bend his knee after the game.
The 25-year-old is hoping the injury is just a bad bruise.
"When I went to go take my lead, it just kind of buckled a little bit, but I think the ligaments are OK. I haven't seen a doctor yet, but I think I just have got a bad bruise. ... I don't think it's that bad."
Nieuwenhuis is batting .056 on 1-for-18 this spring.