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Astros' Bad Luck Worsens on Biggio's Torn Up Knee

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Astros' Bad Luck Worsens on Biggio's Torn Up Knee

Astros' Bad Luck Worsens on Biggio's Torn Up Knee

August 03, 2000

MIAMI (AP)-- As Craig Biggio sat on a trainer's table receiving treatment, replays of the double play that ended his season played on the clubhouse television.

The slide by Florida's Preston Wilson caught Biggio's leg and tore ligaments in his left knee, the Houston Astros second baseman's first major injury in 13 seasons.

Craig Biggio, fourth from left, tore ligaments in his left knee and will be lost for the season. Biggio hadn't been to the DL in 13 big-league seasons.

"It happened so quickly, " Biggio said Wednesday while propped on crutches. "It was a clean and hard slide. Freak things like that happen in baseball all the time."

Biggio limped off the field Tuesday night in the seventh inning of the Astros' 4-3 victory over the Marlins.

X-rays revealed Biggio tore his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and that he would be out for the rest of the season.

"It's frustrating, but it's also reality," Biggio said. "I can't let this injury get me down. I've been very fortunate to play 13 seasons and never miss (a lot of) time."

Biggio was injured when Wilson slid hard into second in an attempt to break up a double play. Wilson's legs clipped Biggio with his left leg planted as he attempted to throw to first base.

Biggio will have an MRI on Friday in Houston but no date has been set for surgery. He faces at least six months of rehabilitation.

Everything has gone wrong for the last-place Astros despite high expectations. After winning the National League Central last season and their move to brand-new Enron Field, the team started the season horribly and stood 18 games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

Injuries to Moises Alou, Billy Wagner, Ken Caminiti, and All-Star Shane Reynolds have hurt the Astros, manager Larry Dierker admits.

"We had a lot of injuries last year too, and we had the depth, pitching, and timing on our side," Dierker said. "This year we don't have all that."

Biggio, a four-time Gold Glove winner, was having a subpar year. He is hitting .268, his lowest average since 1989 when he was still a catcher. He has eight home runs and 35 RBI.

Biggio had played at least 160 games in every season since 1996 and appeared in all 162 games three times in his career.

Teammate and close friend Jeff Bagwell greeted the hobbled seven-time All-Star as he exited the trainer's room.

"He's seen me on the DL a couple of times, but we've never seen him there," Bagwell said. "It's a weird feeling.

"But we can't sit around and not show up. There's still two months left," Bagwell added.

The gritty Biggio, who is known for his soiled uniform and grimy batting helmet, is planning a return to his old form.

"I'm going to work my butt off over the winter to come back from this," Biggio said.

Image courtesy of Picturesnow.com

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