NL NOTES: Rockies’ Tulowitzki tears tendon in quadriceps

ROCKIES: Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki tore a tendon in his left quadriceps and could be out until the All-Star break, if not longer.

“Best case scenario is six weeks. The realistic one is a few months,” agent Paul Cohen told The Associated Press on Thursday. “We’re hoping it’s a couple months, but we won’t know until they do further medical tests.”

Cohen said team doctors will have a better feel for a timeline next week after “massive swelling and bleeding” subside. “It’s a non-surgical tear, which could be a good thing.”

Tulowitzki, the runner-up for NL Rookie of the Year last season, was injured while charging a grounder in the first inning at San Francisco Tuesday night, and he underwent an MRI exam on Wednesday, which found a complete tear of the tendon near his hip.

The injury is rare in baseball but is not uncommon in soccer players.

Fighting through a season-long slump, Tulowitzki wasn’t scheduled to play Tuesday night but was a late addition after second baseman Jeff Baker broke a blood vessel in the middle finger of his right hand during batting practice.

He set an NL rookie record for home runs by a shortstop (24) and batted .291 with 99 RBI as the Rockies surged to their first World Series.

Following his sensational rookie season, Tulowitzki signed a $31 million, six-year deal, the largest contract ever signed by a non-Japanese or Cuban player with fewer than two years’ of major league service.

BRAVES: Facing the prospect of trying to make it through the season with an aching shoulder, John Smoltz is pondering another dramatic career change. The 40-year-old right-hander, who already went from starter to closer to starter again, is planning to go back to the bullpen once he comes off the 15-day disabled list. Smoltz had shoulder problems last season and he’s already been on the DL twice this season. An examination found a severely inflamed biceps tendon and inflammation of the rotator cuff in the right shoulder.

UMPIRE: Umpire Jerry Crawford returned to work Thursday in Chicago, two days after he had to leave a game and be hospitalized for a bad reaction to medication.

ASTROS: Houston will activate third baseman Ty Wigginton from the 15-day disabled list today. Wigginton went on the disabled list April 12 with a fractured left thumb.

CUBS: Left fielder Alfonso Soriano was activated from the 15-day disabled list. Soriano strained his right calf in the first inning against Cincinnati on April 15.

Associated Press

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