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08/07/08 12:02 AM ET

Murphy headed to DL after collision

Outfielder strains right knee ligament, could miss four weeks

ARLINGTON -- For the second night in a row, the Rangers announced one of their key players is headed to the disabled list. This time, it's David Murphy.

Murphy left Wednesday night's game against the Yankees after the third inning with a strained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He will be placed on the disabled list and is expected to be out two to four weeks. He will have an MRI on the knee on Thursday.

Jason Ellison, currently at Triple-A Oklahoma, is the most likely candidate to take Murphy's spot on the roster, and Brandon Boggs will likely start in place of Murphy.

"I am trying to be optimistic," Murphy said. "I'm getting an MRI tomorrow and we'll see how it is, but it doesn't feel great right now."

The injury occurred in the bottom of the second when Murphy was involved in a collision at home plate with Yankees catcher Ivan Rodriguez. In addition to the ligament strain, Murphy also took a black right eye away from the collision.

Murphy was trying to score from second base on an Ian Kinsler two-out single to right field. Bobby Abreu fielded the ball and came up throwing, forcing a play at the plate.

Rather than try to go over or around Rodriguez, Murphy slid feet first into Rodriguez's shin guards. Rodriguez held onto the ball for the out, but both players were on the ground for some time before they were able to walk off under their own power.

Rodriguez left the game immediately after the play, but Murphy remained in the game for an inning before leaving. Boggs replaced Murphy in the lineup.

So, on the same day that C.J. Wilson was placed on the disabled list, one of the Rangers' best hitters is following him. Murphy singled in his only at-bat Wednesday and is hitting .275 this season with 15 home runs and 74 RBIs.

"This hurts a lot," manager Ron Washington said. "He's been our hottest hitter the last 2 1/2 weeks. We will have to move on and play. We have to."

Shawn Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.