Walker placed on 15-day disabled list

Walker placed on 15-day disabled list

CHICAGO -- Todd Walker hasn't watched a replay of his collision with Carlos Lee on Sunday. He felt it, and that was more than enough.

Walker was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a moderate to severe medial collateral ligament sprain of his left knee, suffered in the crash at second base in the 10th inning of the Cubs' 6-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

"It's always frustrating when you get hurt," Walker said Monday, wearing a brace on his left knee. "I really haven't had to sit on the bench for an extended period of time, other than last year when I just wanted to play for the Cubbies and I chose to put myself in that position. Other than that, my whole life I've played. To sit and watch will be tough."

Cubs athletic trainer Mark O'Neal said the standard time to rehab is four-to-six weeks. If there is a best-case scenario, this is it.

"We'll know more in a week to 10 days," O'Neal said. "We're looking at pain and inflammation and once we get control of that we can start progressing. The blanket timeframe is four-to-six weeks, but right now that's purely speculative. We'll see where he is a week to 10 days from now."

There was no cruciate ligament involvement and Walker's meniscus was completely normal, O'Neal said. Surgery was not an option.

"You hate to sit there and say it's a good injury to have, but under the circumstances it's probably the best one to come out of it," O'Neal said.

Walker stayed in the game after the collision with Lee because he didn't feel any pain. What he did feel was a lack of stability.

"I started thinking, 'Man, if I have to move one way or the other, part of my leg might detach from the rest of my body,'" Walker said. "It's not an excruciating pain or swelling. It's just weird."

Walker didn't think Lee's slide was dirty.

"In baseball, you're taught to break up the double play and that's the bottom line," Walker said. "We have mixed emotions in the clubhouse about whether it was malicious. Personally, I haven't seen it.

"Carlos Lee and I are good friends -- and obviously that doesn't matter on the field, you're trying to win," he said. "If it's anybody going into second, you're trying to keep that inning alive."

   Todd Walker  /   2B
Born: 05/25/73
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 185 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: R

Cubs manager Dusty Baker also did not watch a replay, and said some players felt Lee delivered a leg whip to Walker.

"I feel badly because of the way [Walker] has worked in the offseason," Baker said. "He did a lot of stuff to improve his footwork and agility and improve on turning double plays. He worked really hard this winter and was looking forward to getting a lot of playing time this year. The thing about it, he's not going to forget it. I just hope he's not apprehensive when he comes back on double plays."

"The first thing that goes through your mind," Walker said, "is, 'What could I have done different?' There's three things. I could've come toward the ball, but [shortstop Nomar Garciaparra] is so short to me, if he throws it left or right I wouldn't have been able to catch it, and then we're in real trouble so that's not an option.

"The other option is put my right foot on the bag and get out of the way, but I thought we had a chance for a double play," he said. "Thirdly is to jump, but by the time I caught it, right when I was turning Carlos was on me. It's something he's doing to help his team out. It was a little out of the ordinary, but I don't think it was malicious by any means."

Walker saw the photo of Lee sliding into him that ran on cubs.com and said, "It looks like he's doing some kind of tae kwon do on my knee."

The doctors have given a conservative estimate on his recovery time, Walker said.

"If I can get out there and do my job like I know I'm capable, I can do it," he said. "On the other side, you don't want to ruin it for the rest of the year.

"I think you can stabilize it enough," he said. "I'm not going out there if I have the feeling that my leg might detach."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.