Fearing the worst, Navarro feels lucky after collision with Utley

Fearing the worst, Navarro feels lucky after collision with Utley
August 8, 2013, 11:30 am
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PHILADELPHIA – Dioner Navarro limped through the clubhouse on Thursday morning, but still felt lucky after a violent collision with Chase Utley had the Cubs fearing the worst.

What could have been the kind of major, season-ending injury that sidelined Buster Posey in 2011 – the San Francisco Giants MVP shattered his leg during a similar crash at home plate – now appears to be more of a day-to-day thing.   

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The Cubs are waiting for the swelling to subside before getting an MRI on Navarro’s right ankle and determining if it’s a sprain. Then they’ll make a decision on whether or not he’ll go on the disabled list.

That seemed like a forgone conclusion the moment Utley banged his left knee into Navarro and threw his momentum into the catcher, going in hard with his left shoulder. Writhing in pain on the dirt, Navarro had to be carried off the field in a cart on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Still, the Philadelphia Phillies All-Star couldn’t knock the ball out of Navarro’s glove in the seventh inning of a tie game the Cubs would ultimately win 5-2.

“I watched the replay,” Navarro said. “It was a good baseball play. We both did what we needed to do. I guess I got the worst out of it.”

X-rays were negative – no fracture – but the Cubs still brought up catcher J.C. Boscan from Triple-A Iowa. It was surprising to see Navarro walking around the room and through the morning-after soreness.  

“Especially going out there when he said he thought it was broke and he heard it pop,” manager Dale Sveum said. “I think we’re all happy that right now it just kind of seems like a normal, pretty good sprain, like (you’d see) in a basketball game.”

Navarro gets his ankles taped as part of his routine and felt good enough to do squats after leaving Wednesday’s game and getting treatment for what the Cubs have been calling a contusion. After spending parts of the last 10 seasons with five different teams, he couldn’t say this was his biggest collision.   

“I don’t even remember,” Navarro said. “Being a catcher, you get hit so many times that you kind of forget about those things. It’s up there, that’s for sure. They carted me out of the ballpark, but I’m fine right now.”

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Navarro is listed at 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds. He’s not exactly known for his speed.

“Well, it won’t effect any part of my game, that’s for sure,” Navarro said, laughing.

Navarro showed the sense of humor that’s made him a popular guy in the clubhouse, where he seems to wear a Lionel Messi FC Barcelona jersey every day. He’s emerged as a nice piece since signing a one-year, $1.75 million deal last November, hitting nine homers in 155 at-bats, working well with catcher Welington Castillo and handling the pitching staff (especially Matt Garza).

“As a catcher, you always got to expect the worst,” Navarro said. “You’re either born with it or you develop that instinct. I just knew there was going to be contact, so I prepared myself for the worst.”