ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The MRI of Manny Ramírez's right knee yesterday showed no structural damage, manager Terry Francona said, and the initial diagnosis was patellar tendinitis, an inflammation of the tendons that connect the kneecap (patella) to the muscles that straighten the leg.
The condition is commonly known as ``jumper's knee," though it also has affected numerous baseball players, including Braves slugger Andruw Jones. Some players who developed chronic patellar tendinitis have had their careers cut short, such as former Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire and former Red Sox infielder John Valentin, who ultimately ruptured his patellar tendon.
Ice, rest, and anti-inflammatory medication are commonly prescribed treatments.
Ramírez, who was examined by Angels orthopedist Lewis Yocum yesterday afternoon, does not need to be placed on the 15-day disabled list, Francona said, and his availability is listed as day-to-day. The results of the MRI also were sent to Boston for Red Sox medical director Thomas Gill to review.
Kevin Youkilis, for the second time in three games, batted in Ramírez's No. 4 spot in the order in last night's finale of the three-game series with the Angels and went 1 for 4. Wily Mo Peña played left field, with Eric Hinske in right. Peña was responsible for preventing the tying run from scoring in the seventh, cutting down Juan Rivera at the plate on Howie Kendrick's single with no outs.
Ramírez was lifted from Wednesday night's 5-4 Sox win midway through the fourth inning. He arrived in the clubhouse and walked around without the benefit of any wrap, but was not listed among any of the batting practice groups yesterday.
``I think we eliminated some structural stuff that worried us," Francona said, ``which is good.
``I'm not ruling out anything," he added, when asked about Ramírez's availability. ``It bothered him enough to come out of a game, I can't imagine him feeling today that there are no problems.
``I don't think tendinitis goes away overnight. It's probably going to be what he can tolerate."
Francona said it's possible he'll use Ramírez as a designated hitter. ``I don't think hitting is the problem," Francona said.
``We have to figure out if he can go defensively."
``Got rear-ended on Storrow Drive," said Lester, adding that he was not hurt in the accident.
Did the other driver recognize him? ``I don't know," Lester said. ``He barely spoke any English. It wasn't a big deal."
Lester got the win Wednesday, pitching five innings despite some back stiffness. ``It's been that way a little bit before this," Lester said, ``but it stiffened up the past week. Last night, it was just hard to get my back loose. My arm felt fine, but it was hard to get full torque."
It was another outing with a high pitch count for Lester, who threw 96 pitches while allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. ``But even if I'd had my normal fastball, the important thing is we got the win," said Lester, reporting that his back felt better after continued treatment.