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03/12/08 8:40 PM ET

Guardado strains left knee on mound

Injury not considered serious; hole issues hurting pitchers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Eddie Guardado has been dealing with a sore left knee for a week. A torn-up pitching mound only made it worse.

Guardado had to leave Wednesday's outing in the fourth inning after suffering a slight strain in a tendon in his knee, the result of stepping in a hole on the mound. That's how Vicente Padilla injured his hip muscle on Tuesday, and reliever Wes Littleton had a problem in the ninth inning on Wednesday.

"They've got two giant holes out there," Guardado said. "There are no excuses. You go out and adjust. But there are two big potholes out there. They have to do something."

Guardado's injury isn't serious. Padilla was also much better on Wednesday. But the Rangers have enough problems without having to deal with a problem with the mound at their own ballpark.

"Everybody that has been pitching on it this week has said the same thing," Guardado said.

The holes are created by pitchers' landing spots. There are two holes side-by-side with a ridge or mound in between. Littleton landed half on the ridge and half in a hole in the ninth inning and turned his ankle. Manager Ron Washington and trainer Jamie Reed went out to check on him, but he stayed in the game.

"For some reason, guys are stepping in different areas and digging holes," Washington said. "They keep fixing it every day, and every day they come back and tear it up."

Guardado said he'll be fine, but the Rangers aren't sure when he'll pitch again.

"It's not severe," Guardado said. "I just need to stay on top of it like I have been doing and not let it get worse."

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