Stanton confident to be ready for opener

JUPITER, Fla. — The left wrist is no longer a concern for Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins slugger is keeping a closer eye on his left knee.

An MRI revealed inflammation, but no structural damage.

Stanton remains hopeful to return to game action sometime next week. Manager Ozzie Guillen said he hopes to have the regular lineup ready to go pretty much on a daily basis the final 10 games of Spring Training. That would mean all the projected starters would stay together beginning on March 24.

“We’re working towards it,” Stanton said. “It all depends on how it responds and all that good stuff. We’re trying to get there ASAP.”

Stanton was struck on the left wrist by a Chris Schwinden fastball of the Mets last Sunday at Port St. Lucie. Now, his wrist isn’t an issue.

In recent days, Stanton has felt discomfort in his knee, so he had it examined on Wednesday.

If Stanton isn’t ready by March 24, he hopes to see game action no later than the April 1-2 exhibitions against the Yankees at Marlins Park. The Marlins open on April 4 against the Cardinals in Miami.

“Obviously, I want to play now,” Stanton said. “But I’d rather be ready for those April 1 or 2 games than be ready for the 4th,” Stanton said.

If he needs more at-bats, he could also play in Minor League games.

Stanton has appeared in four Grapefruit League games and he has nine at-bats.

Joe Frisaro

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