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Damon Won't Play Before Saturday

October 09, 2003

NEW YORK — Boston center fielder Johnny Damon rejoined the Red Sox on Wednesday, two days after suffering a concussion in a head-to-head collision with second baseman Damian Jackson. Although the Red Sox kept him on their roster for the American League championship series, Manager Grady Little said Damon would not play before Game 3 on Saturday.

Damon, who lost consciousness for several minutes after the collision and was hospitalized overnight in Oakland on Monday, was examined by a neurologist in Boston on Tuesday. He slept 14 hours Tuesday night, and one eye remains swollen. Although his vision is clear, he said, the "puffiness ... makes the eye a little tougher to see out of."

Monday's game was stopped for several minutes while doctors tended to Damon, who was eventually put on a stretcher and carried to an ambulance. After Damon recovered consciousness, he waved to the fans in Oakland as he was carried off the field.

"I thought I was on my feet," he said. "I didn't realize I was on a stretcher."

Gabe Kapler replaced Damon in center field Wednesday.

-- Bill Shaikin

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